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JEDI alliance: Jellyfish overlords won't rule Earth after all

Blancmange invader threat turns out to be, erm, trifling

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The worldwide jellyfish-threat trouser state was officially downgraded from "damp" to "wear again if necessary" yesterday as top international boffins - operating under the title "JEDI" - announced that in fact there is little evidence to suggest that planet Earth will soon be ruled by wobbling gelatinous blobominations.

Despite the (cough) well-publicised menace posed by such things as the fridge-sized, quarter-ton monster jellies which routinely choke the Sea of Japan, and the murderous peanut blob assassins of Australia - not to mention the immortal Dr Who shapeshifting clone turritopsians - it seems that in fact there's not great need to panic.

International boffins, allied under the banner Jellyfish Database Initiative (JEDI) have collated all available data on jelly populations worldwide. They say that in fact, regardless of the various wobbling menaces highlighted in the more irresponsible sections of the media, there's nothing to show an overall increase in jellyfish population.

"Clearly, there are areas where jellyfish have increased, the situation with the Giant Jellyfish in Japan is a classic example," says Dr Cathy Lucas of Blighty's National Oceanography Centre, one of the JEDI alliance. "But there are also areas where jellyfish have decreased, or fluctuate over the decadal periods."

Lucas and her JEDI colleagues have just published a paper in the journal Bioscience setting out the current jellyfish state of play - namely that there's no proof of anything out of the ordinary going on overall.

“People say, 'Oh my God, the world is going to hell'," Lucas' fellow JEDI Monty Graham tells boffinry mag Nature, "but jellies form blooms. That's what they're supposed to do.” ®

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