It’s beach time in Israel… and that means it’s also jellyfish season.
But don’t miss out on Israel’s gorgeous beaches just because of those squishy umbrella-shaped marine animals with stinging tentacles. After all, most people do not get stung.
My family possesses the “if-it-can-swell-it-will-swell” gene, of course. So we pack appropriately — a small bottle of vinegar with our beach gear — and head off to the beaches where my kids love to play.
There are even some crazy Israelis who like to swim amongst the see-through blobs.
If you’re not into that extreme sport, then it’s best to check in with the two organizations that keep watch on the sticky situation. Jellyfish Watch and Meduzot (Hebrew for “jellyfish”) run live reports on jellyfish sightings at Israel’s various beaches.
Of course, if the jellyfish could be persuaded to take a different route that would be brilliant. So it is great news that a research team at the School of Marine Sciences at the University of Haifa has kicked off a study on using sound to scare off these free-swimming blobs.
“We’re working on the first study which examines the jellyfish behavior process. Based on previous studies, jellyfish are known to respond to sound frequencies. We’re looking for a frequency that they do not particularly like,” Dr. Tamar Lotan, of the School of Marine Sciences at the University of Haifa, told the Hebrew daily Maariv.
The Israel Electric Corporation is helping fund the research, which could have commercial applications.
Back in 2011, swarms of jellyfish coming from the Mediterranean Sea nearly shut down a power plant by jamming up the cooling process.
It turns out that Israel is home to a very rare species of jellyfish. And now, marine biologists are trying to figure out how tiny jellyfish usually found in China made their way to a small waterhole in the Golan Heights.
If you tell a film buff that you’re against jellyfish, they’ll likely question your taste in movies. Jellyfish, based on a story by Shira Geffen and directed by her author-husband, Etgar Keret, was the winner of the 2007 Camera d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival, the official selection at the 2008 Toronto Film Festival, and the official selection at the 2008 Telluride Film Festival.
Whether you choose beach or movie, you’ll be thinking about Israel’s jellyfish for weeks to come.
*Image via Shutterstock.com