Feeds

Attack of the quarter-ton, 'fridge-sized' killer jellyfish

US gov: Slime-swarms threaten humanity's survival

Seven Steps to Software Security

The US government has warned that enormous swarms of killer jellyfish - some the size of fridges and weighing up to a quarter of a ton - are ravaging the world's oceans. Particularly aggressive specimens are said to be capable of causing serious damage to ships, and have even managed to knacker nuclear power plants.

News of the challenge to humanity's dominance over planet Earth comes from the US National Science Foundation, which has put out a chilling warning entitled - rather beautifully - Jellyfish Gone Wild!

"When jellyfish populations run wild," the NSF jellyboffins warn, "they may jam thousands of square miles with their pulsing, gelatinous bodies."

It seems that no less than half a billion "refrigerator sized" slimy horrors weighing 450 pounds each invade the Sea of Japan daily, while Australian waters are plagued with "deadly, peanut-sized" Jellybabies of Death. It took the scyphozoan (or possibly hydrozoan) hordes just eight years to seize control of the Black Sea, apparently.

The NSF boffins warn that the gelatinous global usurpers are spawned in hundreds of vast "Dead Zones" in the world's oceans, where nothing but jelly-based lifeforms can live. These frightful blancmange sargassos send out their wobbling hordes on fearful expeditions of destruction, probing the strength of humanity's defences in preparation for the long-planned Time of Slime.

You don't want to, um, trifle with these fellows. Forty people are killed by jellyfish gangs each year "in the Phillipines alone", according to the NSF. Assuming this is typical, one might extrapolate wildly to a worldwide jelly death toll of several thousand - that's the equivalent of a 9/11 every year, as the human race is gradually slimed into extinction by unstoppable liquescent assassins.

It's not just unprotected swimmers being swarmed under by pulsating waves of dessert-topping-esque horror. The wobbly seagoing horrors have moved on to bigger things, attacking ships and causing "serious damage", apparently. No actual sinkings are mentioned by the NSF, but it's impossible to be sure that some ships - having strayed into one of the slime-spawning "Dead Zones", perhaps - haven't already been sucked under, engulfed with such speed they had no time even to send a distress signal.

It's plainly only a matter of time before the Somali pirate threat pales into insignificance before that of buccaneering jellyfish swarm raiders, preying on the human race's vital trade arteries and harvesting sailors like tasty snacks.

Indeed, the NSF specify that the jellies already have it in their power to cripple mankind's most potent technologies.

"Jellyfish have even accomplished what many anti-nuclear activists would like to do: they have disabled nuclear power plants", says Jellyfish Gone Wild!.

Humanity's rule may not be overturned in a Day, then, but a Night of Slime as the squelchy brutes cut the power and plunge the peoples of the Earth into their final darkness.

As the NSF boffins chillingly put it:

"Ask not for whom the jellyfish's bell tolls; it tolls for thee."

View Jellyfish Gone Wild! in all its sobering glory here (quite a lot of Flash). ®

The Power of One eBook: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

More from The Register

next story
Beancounters tell NASA it's too poor to fly planned mega-rocket
Space Launch System would need another $400m and a lot of time
Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 claimed lives of HIV/AIDS cure scientists
Researchers, advocates, health workers among those on shot-down plane
Bad back? Show some spine and stop popping paracetamol
Study finds common pain-killer doesn't reduce pain or shorten recovery
World Solar Challenge contender claims new speed record
One charge sees Sunswift travel 500kms at over 100 km/h
SMELL YOU LATER, LOSERS – Dumbo tells rats, dogs... humans
Junk in the trunk? That's what people have
All those new '5G standards'? Here's the science they rely on
Radio professor tells us how wireless will get faster in the real world
The Sun took a day off last week and made NO sunspots
Someone needs to get that lazy star cooking again before things get cold around here
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.