Researchers hope to jam up jellyfish
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Researchers hope to jam up jellyfish

University of Haifa scientists explore using frequencies to drive away Israel’s annual surge of aquatic stingers

A dead jellyfish on the beach in Haifa. (photo credit: Shay Levy/Flash90)
A dead jellyfish on the beach in Haifa. (photo credit: Shay Levy/Flash90)

Summers in Israel usually involve swarms of stinging white jellyfish arriving on the country’s Mediterranean shores, causing havoc for beach lovers, surfers and anyone who wants to go into the water.

This year, however, a research team is hoping to scare the tentacled blobs off using sound.

“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 daily Maariv on Monday.

The research is expected to last two years and is funded in part by the Israel Electric Corporation, because it turns out jellyfish do more than just bother people: large groups of the creatures can clog water intake valves at power plants, where seawater is drawn up for cooling, and gum up the works at seawater desalination plants, despite screens over intake areas designed to keep them away.

If the project is successful, it could have commercial applications worldwide against the negative effects of jellyfish blooms.

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