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

(Reinhard Dirscherl / Alamy)


Edible jellyfish
(Maura McCarthy)
Several jellyfish species are eaten with gusto by the Chinese – who have consumed them for more than a thousand years – and others are now becoming the darlings of fringe foodies in Europe and elsewhere. (One Michelin-starred Spanish chef recently referred to her new favorite soup ingredients as “beautiful marine princesses.”) Jellies are a desirable seafood alternative because they haven’t been overfished like so many other oceanic sources of protein.

However, sometimes nature’s bounty is not enough. The Chinese are so keen to harvest the edible jellyfish Rhopilema esculentum that in 2005 and 2006, some 400 million tiny cultured jellies were released into Liaodong Bay. Fishermen recaptured only about 3 percent.


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