Upside-down jellyfish release venom-filled ‘bombs’ in their snot

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Upside-down jellyfish pulse on the ocean floor, their frilly arms stretched skyward as they release venom-filled blobs of mucus into the surrounding water, where the slime “stings” passing swimmers, new research reveals.

These jellyfish (Cassiopea xamachana) look like strange, squidgy plants stuck to the ocean floor, and they tend to assemble in groups that resemble bizarre flower beds. Upside-down jellies can be found living in the mangrove forests and lagoons of southern Florida, Hawaii, the Indo-Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean, according to the Monterey Bay Aquarium. Snorkelers who visit those areas sometimes develop a strange itching sensation on their skin, as if the water itself stung them. 

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