Around the World

It Came Out of the Sea

Chad W. Lutz
It’s a scene right out of a Godzilla movie. In recent years, thousands of giant jellyfish known as Nomura have been overpopulating areas along the Japanese shoreline. Commonly found in Chinese and Korean waters, Nomura now infest major fishing ports and threaten to disrupt Japan’s multibillion dollar industry. Although human injuries caused by the giant jellies remain rare, many worry what implications the Cretaceous-looking creature’s presence might have on the country and its populous.

The term “giant” almost serves as a completely misguided and drunken understatement. Some of largest the Nomura documented stand over 6.5ft tall from end to end and weigh over 450lbs. Each contains thousands of toxic tentacles and look like the biblical version of Leviathan. Japan also calls home to the infamous Giant Squid, which are reported to grow as big as 60ft. Due to the depths in which they live scientists have been largely unable to study the Giant Squid in their natural habitat.

Unlike the Giant Squid, Nomura live close to the surface of the water and pose immense problems for the Japanese fishing and tourism industries. Theories as to the rampant growth in numbers of the oversized invertebrates include everything from global warming to man-made pollution. Also noted are unseasonably heavy rainfalls possibly creating a strong current which is pushing the jellyfish toward Japan from their native surroundings.

At the moment, Japanese scientists grapple with the question of what to do with the colossal aquatic invaders and what, if any, serious threat they may pose. No significant losses have been reported in the fishing or tourism industry, but pictures surfacing in National Geographic articles are enough to scare anyone out of the water.
picture courtesy of google images