Photo Gallery The Jellification of the Seas

Jellyfish infestations along beaches worldwide are troubling tourists and scientists alike. How dangerous is it for the ecosystem? One thing is clear: It's a creature that thrives on over-fishing and polution.
1 / 10

As fish populations deplete, jellyfish populations are growing throughout much of the world. The fact that human beings and jellyfish tangle with one another more frequently than in the past is unpleasant for both sides. It also costs many millions each year. Here, a diver attaches a sensor to a large Echizen jellyfish off the coast of Komatsu in northern Japan.

Foto: YOMIURI SHIMBUN/ AFP
2 / 10

Japanese fishermen draw up a net full of Echizen kurage, or Nomuras, jellyfish. The creatures ruin nets and cause chemical burns on the hands of fishermen. If a jellyfish bloom collides with the nets that separate fish farms from the open water, the creatures' toxins can sometimes kill all of the animals in the enclosures.

Foto: HO/ REUTERS
3 / 10

A jellyfish off the coast of Spain, where the creatures are arriving in ever greater numbers. The marine creatures -- blind and lacking both a heart and a brain, driven by waves and currents -- billow toward the coast, many with poisonous tentacles in tow.

Foto: A9999 Oceana/Juan Cuetos/ dpa
4 / 10

Jellyfish on the beach, coinciding with the vacation season, are also a debacle for tourism. This summer it is the reddish, glow-in-the-dark jellyfish Pelagia noctiluca, or mauve stinger, that lurks in the waters off the Spanish coast.

Foto: Fernando Hernandez/ AP
5 / 10

Pelagia noctiluca doesn't swim from the open sea toward the coast of its own volition. Instead, it is driven by waves and currents, dying where it goes aground. In the Mediterranean, this fate has typically befallen mauve stingers about once every 10 to 15 years. But now the blooms have been happening with much greater frequency, with similar incidents occurring in 2005, 2006, 2007, 2011, 2012 and 2013.

Foto: Fernando Hernandez/ AP
6 / 10

The European Union is now funding an international research project that will gather data on the spread of jellyfish in the Mediterranean region for the first time, as well as develop a coastal management strategy. Here, a jellyfish is pictured on the coast of Gibraltar.

Foto: A2800 epa Nic Bothma/ dpa
7 / 10

It isn't just a problem in the Mediterranean, but worldwide. Here, thousands of Aurelia Aurita jellyfish float on the water's surface near Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt.

Foto: TARIK TINAZAY/ AFP
8 / 10

Bluebottle jellyfish on a beach on the east coast of Australia. Huge numbers of swimmers were stung by the variety, that is showing up in ever greater quantities.

Foto: Belinda Curley/ Reuters
9 / 10

A lion's mane jellyfish swims in the Kiel harbor in Germany. Especially in late summer, swimmers in the North and Baltic Seas often counter the stinging creature.

Foto: A2855 Horst Pfeiffer/ dpa
10 / 10

The exact costs of jellyfish are difficult to gauge. For instance, they often cause power outages and equipment damage when they enter the cooling water systems of power plants and desalination plants. Here, jellyfish fall from a filter at a power station on Israel's Mediterranean coast.

Foto: RONEN ZVULUN/ REUTERS
Die Wiedergabe wurde unterbrochen.