Black Sea Jellyfish

Weightless, translucent and at the same time amazingly beautiful jellyfish Black Sea amaze with a variety of sizes and colors. They are able to maintain their body structure only in water, spreading out on land as an unkempt slimy lump. It’s hard to believe, but such delicate creatures are also able to defend themselves and sometimes inflict very painful burns on those who choose to touch them in the water.

Physiology and behavioral features of Black Sea jellyfish

In total, there are several thousand species of these jelly-like organisms in nature. They are among the oldest inhabitants of the planet, widespread in warm seas, have no rigid body structure, and consist of 85% water. Most often in the form of a bell with a few dozen freely hanging tentacles. They hang almost motionless in the water column, drifting with the current.

In the Black Sea there are only 3 species of jellyfish, which is due to the peculiarities of water composition. The high hydrogen sulfide content in the bottom layers led to the fact that below 200 meters from the surface of the water life almost disappears and jellyfish are no exception.

Types of jellyfish

Many of the secrets of the sea depths are still unresolved and it is possible that new varieties of jellyfish will be discovered, but so far there are only 3:

  • Cornerstone;
  • mnemiopsis;
  • aurelia.
Jellyfish Kornerot is found in the Black Sea
Medusa Cornerstone

The peculiarities of behavior should include their amazing inertness. They do not try to choose a certain direction of movement, the feeding system does not require increased activity, as in predators.

Nature provided them with stinging cells, which contain a poison capsule. It is rather weak, but it is enough for plankton and fry. The paralyzed sea minnow becomes prey to the jellyfish, and the stinging cell dies after the shot is administered.

A very useful ability is the cornerroot, which is called a living barometer. It detects an approaching storm in a few hours and moves away from the shore.

When and why jellyfish come ashore

It has long been noticed that on certain days the sea is filled with whole fields of jellyfish drifting toward the shore. At this time, children try not to let in the water, bathing is replaced by walks or go to other beaches.

The invasion begins on warm days, mostly in August and September. Their breeding instinct drives them to the shore. In shallow, well-warmed water, they leave their young and go back to the depths. The presence of man does not disturb the ancient organisms at all. They just don’t see people as a threat.

How dangerous jellyfish are

Poisonous jellyfish of the Black Sea

No animal will attack on its own initiative. Most often the actions are defensive in nature. Jellyfish behave peacefully. If you see the fleshy bell of the cornerroot and do not approach it, but carefully bypass it, there will be no consequences from the encounter.

Stinging cells are triggered only by direct contact and then the sensations are very unpleasant, very similar to the burn from nettles. Large specimens leave a trail the diameter of a dessert plate. Particularly difficult after such an injury are babies and people with strong allergic reactions.

Dangerous jellyfish of the Black Sea are not so poisonous as to pose a threat to life, but it is better not to meet with them on the sea expanses.

The benefits of jellyfish

Black Sea jellyfish are dangerous and poisonous animals
Jellyfish Mnemiopsis


Thanks to them, the balance of living organisms is maintained, they eat small crustaceans and eggs of most fish species. Their function as cleaners is also important. In the cuisines of different countries jellyfish corneret is considered quite a spicy dish and is cooked with a lot of spices. In addition, the aesthetic appearance of jellyfish floating in the warm layers of water is calming, if you do not try to pick them up.

Poisonous jellyfish of the Black Sea

There are three species that live permanently on the Black Sea coast. To call them poisonous is not quite correct. Compared to the Sea Wasp or Lion’s Mane, which inhabit the seas of the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans, domestic beauties can only cause mild discomfort.

Black Sea dwellers are much safer and more modest in size.

  1. The largest jellyfish in the Black Sea is called Rhizostoma cornerata. It is also the most poisonous. A characteristic feature is the long tentacles and the blue or purple brim of the cap. It was first noticed in the 19th century, before that it lived quietly off the coast of Turkey, not encroaching on new territories. The size is impressive, as the diameter of the cap reaches 65 cm and the weight is 10 kg. An unpleasant consequence of contact with it will be an extensive painful burn that lasts for up to 3-4 days.
  2. Aurelia is considered the original inhabitant, it is not among the large jellyfish of the Black Sea, but despite its modest size also has its secrets. It is capable of literally turning itself inside out in order to grasp large prey. The voracity of the aurelia is well known and is very useful for the cleanliness of water areas, where the jellyfish plays the role of a cleaner and purifier. Externally, it can be easily identified by the 4 symmetrical rings in the center of the cap. It also stings on contact, but is much weaker than corneret, the lesions go away by evening if they are treated immediately and a baking soda compress is applied. Aurelias do not sense changes in the weather, so they often become hostages to storms.
  3. Comparatively recently, another species has been discovered that turned out to be a pest. The small luminous jellyfish Mnemiopsis in the Black Sea is believed to have originated from the eastern shore of the United States. Their peculiarity is a complete absence of tentacles, which does not prevent her from damaging commercial fish species. Their peculiarity is extremely prolific. One individual lays up to 8,000 eggs, and the young are very hardy.

How to help with a jellyfish burn?

There are no deadly poisonous jellyfish in the Black Sea, but it is necessary to help in case of burns. The stinging cells of these sea creatures inflict painful jabs.

Are the jellyfish of the Black Sea dangerous to humans?
Aurelia Medusa

No special antidotes are needed to neutralize the poison and relieve the discomfort. It is enough to wash the affected area with fresh water, apply a half-alcohol compress or apply an ointment for insect bites.

When the immune system is lowered or an acute allergic reaction is detected, doctor’s help is needed. Antihistamines, local compresses are used, and in severe cases, medication will be needed. But such cases are very rare, so you should not fear them.

Vacationers should remember that sea creatures do not like stranger touch and defend themselves as best they can. During the mass invasion of jellyfish should refrain from swimming or move the water procedures at the nearest water park. In 2-3 days, the jellyfish will go back into the open sea and will no longer pose a threat to health and comfort.

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