Since World War II, the notion that flying saucers may one day take over the world has steadily grown throughout popular culture, plaguing both science fiction stories and government conspiracy theories alike.
While the more scientifically minded may ordinarily scoff at such news, it appears they are now taking the idea very seriously.
However, instead of coming from outer space, these strange, saucer-like beings stem from a world equally mysterious – the great oceans.
For in a fresh bout of alien concern, a combination of global warming, over-fishing and run off of agricultural fertilisers has created ideal conditions for the jellyfish, a creature which is now exploding in numbers.
In fact, so much so, they’ve recently disrupted seaside power and desalination plants in Japan, Africa and the Middle East. While throughout the world’s beaches, these bizarre bulbed bathers are being reported in increasing size and numbers.
What exactly does this mean? Despite posing a greater threat to swimmers, evidence now suggests the rise of the jellyfish could result in a gargantuan ecological disaster.
As research undertaken by Rob Condon, from the Virginia Institute of Marine Science, reveals while marine bacteria typically absorb carbon, nitrogen, phosphorous and other chemicals off fish when they die, they have trouble absorbing the particularly high levels of carbon that jellyfish exude.
Instead, the bacteria breathes it out as carbon dioxide, which is released into the atmosphere.
Furthermore, Dr Carol Turley, scientist at Plymouth University Marine Laboratory, says with the rise of the jellyfish, seawater is becoming carbon saturated at a rate not seen during the last 600 million years. And if the trend continues, unprotected shellfish will cease to exist by the middle of the century.
Condon also adds that jellyfish numbers have severely disrupted the food chain by acting as plankton pigs, hogging the food of small fish. What’s more, “jellyfish are not readily consumed by other predators”.
Not readily consumed by other predators? Well that’s hardly fair is it!? And with their domain covering roughly 72% of the Earth’s surface, these rising lords of the sea appear set to take over the world.
It’s clear what needs to be done. Grab a jellyfish and cook it today, go on, we can all help. Smother it with loads of barbecue sauce if you have to. Let’s start eating!