Mesmerized by Moonjellies

Can you imagine anything more magical than your grandparent loading you onto a motor boat one summer’s night and heading out along the cool waters of the sea, only to find an ocean of magically glowing moonjellies?

This is how our study of jellyfish begins, through the words of a captivating a children’s tale: Night of the Moonjellies by Mark Shasha. The story is inspired by the author’s own childhood and gives Crowley and I plenty to talk about.

And as soon as we put that title on our sea serpent, it’s time to look at real jellyfish LIVE through this web cam.  There are a number of great jellyfish cams out there from which to choose!

C listening to the ocean in a seashell while watching some jellies…

Warning for the tired, the very tired and the up-all-night sleep deprived… watching these floating sea pillows makes you very sleepy. So look away while the children are making their observations.

Next step.. we need to make our own! Through Pinterest, I found this super cool looking “Jellyfish in a bottle” craft. The idea comes from an incredible blog with great directions. Easy enough. Crowley can help.

WRONG! SUPER HARD! If we had to turn it in for a grade, I’m afraid we’d get credit for completing our work and that’s about it.

The concept is easy.

Take a produce bag from the grocery store.

Make something akin to a Kleenex ghost and fill the head with water.

Trim the trailing bag into tentacles and pop into a bottle of blue water.

BUT, our jellyfish kept floating to the top.

I asked another stay-at-home down the street for help(she has a PhD in Chemistry). She came up with this suggestion.

Put something that’s denser than water into the jellyfish’s head.

So I made ice cubes out of salt water. Ice cubes are easier to work with than filling jelly fish head with water.  The salt water achieved a much better result after the ice melted.

Our jellyfish looked real enough that Crowley was nervous when I touched it, that I would be stung… like Dori. So after several attempts… mission accomplished. This would be a great science project for a middle schooler, especially if they are experimenting with different fillers to explore density! Though, to be honest, the thought of that makes my brain ache.

If you find an easier path to success with this project, don’t keep it a secret! Please share it with me!


No Responses to “Mesmerized by Moonjellies”

  1. Frank Mickens

    Anna! I’m so glad I found your blog. This is really cool and inspiring! I’ll have to tell my wife about your site. She’ll love it! BTW, you make Mike look real good…