Hydrodynamically Silent Jellyfish Awesome

Here is the new Sigur Rós video, the third in the “Mystery Film Experimentseries they’re making to accompany the music on their new album, Valtari, which I spent some of yesterday listening to and enjoying. No, this video is not that. It is a video Scientific American made of Mnemiopsis leidyi comb jellies at the New England Aquarium. The pulsing strings of things that look like Christmas lights are tiny cilia that propel the creatures through the water without making ripples that would scare away the plankton that they eat. As Mark Fischetti tells it, “The comb jelly is the ultimate ‘hydrodynamically silent’ predator.” Awesome! (Except that after being transported by shipping balast to the Black Sea, where they have no natural predators, they have eaten all the plankton there, effectively destroying the ecosystem. Bummer.)