Blubber jelly

Natural History

The blubber jelly, also known as the blue jelly, comes in colors ranging from very light blue to dark purple and burgundy, and its bell pulses in a distinctive, staccatolike rhythm. This jelly is most commonly found in coastal lagoons off eastern Australia, often in large swarms. 

Eight clublike oral arms that each contain several mouths transport food to the jelly's stomach. As with all true jellies, blue jellies alternate between a sexual medusa stage and an asexual polyp stage. Adult medusae brood their fertilized eggs and the resulting planula larvae.

Conservation

The blubber jelly is commercially harvested in Australia, which poses a potential threat to the population. Scientists know little about populations of blubber jellies and what impact a fishery might have on their numbers. There's no way to tell how many jellies might be left over each season, which makes it difficult to balance harvesting efforts and ensure healthy blubber jelly stocks for years to come.

Cool Facts

People can safely eat this poisonous jelly once it's been correctly dried and processed.

The Chinese believe eating jellies will reduce high blood pressure. Dried jellies are popular in many Asian countries, especially Japan, where they're considered a culinary delicacy. The texture is reportedly crispy, yet elastic—hence the name "rubber band salad" for a dish sold in China.