Feeds

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

US gov: Slime-swarms threaten humanity's survival

Security for virtualized datacentres

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). ®

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Boffins who stare at goats: I do believe they’re SHRINKING
Alpine chamois being squashed by global warming
What's that STINK? Rosetta probe shoves nose under comet's tail
Rotten eggs, horse dung and almonds – yuck
Comet Siding Spring revealed as flying molehill
Hiding from this space pimple isn't going to do humanity's reputation any good
Kip Thorne explains how he created the black hole for Interstellar
Movie special effects project spawns academic papers on gravitational lensing
Experts brand LOHAN's squeaky-clean box
Phytosanitary treatment renders Vulture 2 crate fit for export
LONG ARM of the SAUR: Brachially gifted dino bone conundrum solved
Deinocheirus mirificus was a bit of a knuckle dragger
Moment of truth for LOHAN's servos: Our US allies are poised for final test flight
Will Vulture 2 freeze at altitude? Edge Research Lab to find out
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
New hybrid storage solutions
Tackling data challenges through emerging hybrid storage solutions that enable optimum database performance whilst managing costs and increasingly large data stores.