Some would feel apprehensive reading this article in The Atlantic with the ominous title, 'Imagining the Jellyfish Apocalypse'. We know deep down that we've abused the world, polluted the environment, gorged on earth's resources but somehow we expect that Mother Earth, like many mothers, will shake her head and forgive us. Or perhaps we expected some extreme devastation that would end things quickly and not leave us to suffer for our folly.
Jellyfish may be the Earth's alternative response. In Australia the most common type, Irukandjii, of which there are 25 species, has a body the size of a pea. What harm could they do? The article describes the various forms of suffering you could endure which for an unfortunate few ends in death. But don't take it personally; these jellyfish typify the stimulus-response lack of consciousness with not much intelligence and certainly no motive. Each animal is driven by basic compulsions and does not possess the kind of intelligence that could ever be trained, harnessed or reasoned with.
Will our world's oceans return to the primordial soup with jellyfish smothering out all other life? Considering the vast numbers of people that depend on the oceans' bounty for food, this would be devastating. A number of countries including Sweden, Scotland and Israel have suffered power blackouts due to jellyfish clogging up their coal and nuclear powered energy facilities.
It all sounds like science fiction. Jellyfish have been around for 500 million years; perhaps they will outlive us.