Maybe it’s because people became increasingly uncomfortable with marine mammals in captivity. Maybe it’s because they are low maintenance. For whatever reason, it seems jellyfish exhibits at aquaria are on the rise. Monterey Bay’s Jellies: Living Art pays homage to the medusas. Vancouver Aquarium’s jellyfish exhibit has also recently expanded (and now includes the flower hat jelly; photo by Lee Newman).
An Amazon query of ‘jellyfish’ children’s books yields 1410 search results. Granted, a ‘shark’ search yields 5663 results, but ‘swordfish’ a meager 321. My name seems to be (disturbingly) suited to at least two of these children’s titles: Captain Jennifer Jellyfish Jones and Jenny Jellyfish: A Tale of Wiggly Jellies.
True, these translucent creatures capture everyone’s imagination. But are children learning more about jellyfish than other marine creatures? If so, will generations raised on moon jellies not lead to apathy over empty oceans, jellyfish burgers, and their oh-so-shifted baseline?