All told, there are some 1,500 jellyfish species: blue blubbers, bushy bottoms, fire jellies, jimbles. Cannonballs, sea walnuts. Pink meanies, a.k.a. stinging cauliflowers. Hair jellies, a.k.a. snotties. And yes...the Purple people eaters. These exquisite brainless, spineless, yet vibrant colored creatures of the sea are best admired from behind a glass wall in your local aquarium. Any closer and one might feel a sudden sting! That is unless you are a turtle. They LOVE to eat jellyfish! And recently I learned turtles aren't the only ones who feast on these beautiful ocean membranes. The chinese have been eating jellyfish for over 1000 years. Imagine attending a wedding banquet and getting served a jellyfish salad. If you lived in China, this would be a banquet favorite. Here in the South, we serve up shrimp and grits! Close, right? The main edible variety in U.S. waters, cannonball jellies, are found on the Atlantic Coast from North Carolina to Florida and in the Gulf of Mexico.
What I have come to appreciate greatly is how God created them - brainless, spineless, and without blood. Yet, they have such an incredible purpose in God's design. Jellyfish are crucial to ocean health. They keep prey like zooplankton and small fish populations in check by paralyzing them with their tentacles and gobbling them up. Jellyfish also transport carbon to greater ocean depths, enhancing biodiversity and contributing to medical advances. How extraordinary! And to think, without all the capacities we have as humans one day they will say in unison with all of creation...
Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all that is in them, saying: "To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be praise and honor and glory and power, for ever and ever!" Revelation 5:13