Jellyfish Gum Up Monterey Aquarium's Waterworks

Giant school of slimy beasts invades the bay, aquarium's seawater filters

By Jackson West
|  Thursday, Aug 13, 2009  |  Updated 12:27 PM PDT
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David Hall, Flickr

Unlike the jellyfish display at the Monterey Bay Aquarium, the churned up specimens in the filters are not a pretty picture.

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They came from the deep -- a school of large cnidarians of the genus Chrysaora -- beautiful, but deadly.

Or in this case, just really, really inconvenient.

Jellyfish up to four feet long clogging up the system that pumps seawater into the tanks at the world famous Monterey Bay Aquarium.

High nitrate levels in the bay, possibly caused by runoff from farms that use chemical fertilizers, may have beckoned the beasts in such great numbers.

And as the school swims around, occassionally one gets too close to the intake and fouls up the filter.

While the aquarium's exhibits aren't likely to be affected, it does cost hundreds of dollars and requires multiple divers to repair.

And for the aquarium's maintenance team, that's gotta sting.

Photo by David Hall.

Jackson West wishes jellyfish were more delicious.

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