Extreme Jellyfish | 40th Anniversary | Smithsonian
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Extreme Jellyfish

There are some 2,000 species of jellyfish. Some are tasty, others will kill you with the tap of a tentacle. Here are nine varieties that really stand out

Amphinema-rollinsi-Henry-Rollins-1

Amphinema rollinsi Henry Rollins
(Maura McCarthy)
Jellyfish species have all kinds of offbeat common names: fried-egg jellies, cabbage heads, big reds. But their scientific names can be funky too. Phialella zappai is named in honor of Frank Zappa; the Italian scientist who discovered the jellyfish was reportedly angling for a visit from the famous musician. Likewise, Monterey Bay Aquarium jelly guru Chad Widmer named Amphinema rollinsi after hard-core punk artist Henry Rollins, whose music he admires.

But sometimes a gelatinous namesake can be a dubious honor. Malo kingi is a nod to Robert King, an American tourist who was killed by the jellyfish’s sting in Australia in 2002.

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