Rampant, fish-marauding jellyfish are going to turn up in our cosmetics – remember you read it here first.
Scientists at the United Nations are concerned that over-fished stocks in the Mediterranean are being further depleted by jellyfish that feed on the fish larvae and young fish. Recently a 26-mile jellyfish swarm devoured an entire salmon farm in Northern Ireland. Experts think that jellyfish could entirely supplant fish in oceans worldwide. But help is in the form of you, me and our potions and lotions.
The ingenious rescue plan is to persuade the cosmetics business to use jellyfish as an ingredient. The Koreans have already responded to the call and are looking at ways to extract collagen from jellyfish. But the United Nations’ real trump card is the so-called immortal jellyfish.
Turritopsis nutricula is an age-defying jellyfish, the Benjamin Button of the deep sea. Studied by Swiss scientists in the mid-90s, the species – at any stage of its development – could transform itself back to a polyp, the organism’s earliest stage of life, “thus escaping death and achieving potential immortality.” Ironically, while stress ages us, it is a stressful situation that can trigger the immortal jellyfish response.
Cracking the immortal jellyfish code could bring its secrets to anti-aging eye creams. The problem is that how it does the age reversal thing is not properly understood. And some scientists counter that even if we did, they wouldn’t be applicable to humans.
If you ask me, though, that won’t stop extract of immortal jellyfish turning up in our potions and lotions. And even if the whole thing is a bit fishy, I for one will buy them knowing I am doing my bit for marine life around the world.