Jellyfish in Lake Norman?
It’s surprisingly true – you no longer have to travel 3 hours away to the beach to watch jellyfish swimming in the wild.
Statesville resident Tommy West uploaded this quick video of the jellyfish he spotted in Lake Norman last week – his post has since been shared over 1,183 times;
According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the freshwater jellyfish, Craspedacusta sowerbii, or as the Chinese call it, the peach blossom fish, can be found in the Carolina lakes, including in Lake Norman, and Lake Wylie.
“The animal is native to China’s Yangtze River where it lives in the river’s pools and backwaters. It was first documented outside of China in the water lily tanks at London’s Regents Park in 1880 and today is commonly found in Europe, Asia, North and South America, and Australia.
The freshwater jellyfish can exist in one of five different body forms, with one, called the hydromedusa, resembling what we commonly think of as a jellyfish, albeit as small one, coming in at a half to two and half centimeters across. In late summer or early fall warm water temperatures trigger the animal to morph into the hydromedusa form, where it can be seen drifting in the water column. It can also live as a polyp on the river or lake bottom, or as what’s called a podocyst, a small group of cells encased in a hard shell – a form it takes to get through periods of cold or little food.”
They also note that the freshwater jellyfish found in Lake Norman and Wylie do have tentacles with stingers, but they aren’t strong enough to penetrate human skin.
Have you spotted any this summer?