The National Aquarium at Al Qana opens “Invasion of the Jellyfish”

National Aquarium

The only live Jellyfish (Sea Jelly) exhibition in Abu Dhabi

To further diversify its collection, The National Aquarium (TNA) at Al Qana has opened a new exhibition focused on the alien like life of Jellyfish (sea jellies).

Jellyfish have been around for more than 600 million years, in which they have possibly formed more than 300,000 species. Some are deadly to humans; others are no more dangerous than a gummy bear. They occupy the ocean depths to our shallow beaches and from the north pole to the south pole, however many of their most fascinating attributes are still largely unknown.

The exhibition includes mesmerizing but stinging Sea Nettles, UFO like moon jellies, Upside down jellies that farm sunlight and giant energetic blubbers that are long distance travelers. All taking different shapes and forms and displayed in specialized aquariums that keep them in permanent aquatic suspension. This display is only made possible through the expert marine biologist behind the scenes at TNA who have mastered the life cycle in breeding facilities.

The exhibition takes its name “Invasion” from a term often used when blooms of jellyfish appear suddenly and for no apparent reason. However, science has discovered that this is all part of their master plan. Jellyfish have a unique lifecycle that includes a dormant phase when a plant like creature called jellyfish polyps remain sediment on the sea floor. When something extreme happens in the ocean such as sudden temperature change, the polyps start firing out an army of clones. These genetically identical Jellyfish clones, absent of brains and made of 98% water, swarm the beaches, often causing destress among the public.

“Paul Hamilton, General Manager and Curator for TNA said this exhibition is another step in the right direction for our facility which already exhibits the most divers collection of animals in the region. Our guests are always surprised by the size of the facility, the length of journey and the share number of animals they see along the way. Invasion of the Jellyfish is yet another world class attraction helping us meet the expectations of the Abu Dhabi public.”