Jellyfish? Where?

Freshwater jellyfish are an invasive species from the Yangtze area of China. They’re about an inch in diameter with a central mouth that extends from the center of the bell. This mouth has four frilly lips that accept food from over 400 tentacles circling the outer rim of the bell.

Photo credit: Wikipedia

Why, you ask, is she talking about jellyfish on a blog about the Midwest? Well, because several of our Midwest Almanac states boast of having these interesting creatures. Lake Tom Sawyer, part of Mark Twain State Park, near Hannibal, Missouri is one such location.

The state park naturalists give twenty-minute kayak tours to go out to the middle of the lake and take a peek.

This was news to me, and I’ve lived in Missouri my whole life. I found it surprising and thought you might too. To see these fascinating creatures in action, you can watch a YouTube video taken in Ohio. (See? I told you several of our states have them. 🙂 )

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