An Antarctic octopus that spews cold-resistant venom! A giant jellyfish that might have stung up to 100 people! A 40-ton whale that crushes yachts (well, at least one yacht, anyway)! The Web loves weird sea creatures. This past week, there was a lot to love.
Octopus fears no cold
They almost sound like some kind of a cartoon super villain. But not only are they real, they might have something to offer medicine. This past week, researchers discovered four new species of octopus "with venom that works at sub-zero temperatures." Odd as it sounds, the discovery may have an effect on medical research. A buzzy blog at Discovery.com explains that the different proteins in the venom may lead to developments for pain, allergy, and cancer medications. Web searchers were clearly interested. Almost immediately, Web searches on "antarctic octopus" and "octopus venom" both spewed skyward.
Giant jellyfish stings dozens
On Wednesday, between 50 and 100 beachgoers from New Hampshire were treated for jellyfish stings. Amazingly, they may have all come from the same jellyfish. An article from LiveScience explains that authorities believe that the lion's mane jellyfish (fancy name: Cyanea capillata) may have done the damage all on its own. Experts remain dubious that just one jellyfish, however huge and angry, could lash out at that many people. But LiveScience explains that "it is in the realm of possibility." Web lookups for "giant jellyfish" swam their way to a 347% gain for the week.
Whale crashes into yacht
There's the kind of whale watching, when you sit on your yacht and watch from a distance. And then there's the up-close kind that Paloma Werner and Ralph Mothes partook in this past week. While sitting on their 10-meter boat, off the coast of South Africa, a 40-ton whale jumped out of the ocean and landed in the middle of their yacht. Not surprisingly, the whale caused significant damage to the vessel, crushing the mast and rigging. But the two sailors were unhurt, as was the whale, who left behind a bit of blubber before sliding back into the sea. Experts believe the whale didn't know the boat was there, because the engine was off.