Are Jellyfish Going to Take Over the World? Scientists Have an App for That
Zachary Slobig - TakePart
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August 25, 2014



Jellyfish have become the deep-sea monsters of the climate change era, embodying our fears that the warming oceans will spawn increasingly massive swarms of a sinister faceless alien. The reality, though, is that we know next to nothing about these creatures.

We think we know a bit about them: Their sting can kill you. They erupt in blooms that reach 1,000 square miles. They can grow to a length of 120 feet. These are traits, though, of different members of a widely varied species, not simply “jellyfish.”

The need for solid data compelled Monterey Aquarium researcher Steve Haddock to develop Jellywatch, a website and smartphone app designed to enable non-scientists to document the presence of jellyfish anywhere.

In the three years since the app's launch, data has flooded in from all the world’s oceans. Even with satellites, drones, and submersibles, said Haddock, the human eye is still the best tool for collecting the data needed to understand the life cycles of jellyfish populations.

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