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
- By Abigail Tucker
- Smithsonian.com, August 01, 2010
(Photo of Amphinema rollinsi courtesy of Chad Widmer)
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.