Jellyfish have a mind


Why is jellyfish also called "medusa"?

Medusa was once a beautiful woman in Greek mythology. One day she was surprised by the Greek goddess Athena in a temple while she was getting involved with a man.

As a punishment, Athena transformed the beautiful woman into a monster with snake hair, long canine teeth and piercing eyes. It is said to have been so ugly that anyone turned to stone at the mere sight of it.

Even the titan named Atlas, who in mythology carried the vault of heaven on his shoulders, froze at the sight of Medusa. It was transformed into a huge stone mountain range, today's Atlas Mountains in Morocco in North Africa.

The jellyfish is also called Medusa because its tentacles move around its body like snakes. It is not the gaze of the animal medusa that makes the victim freeze or die, but the poison that shoots from the nettle capsules of the tentacles into the victim's skin like a harpoon.

Hydra is another monster in Greek mythology, a nine-headed water snake. She lived in the swamp of Lerna near Argos. Nobody seemed equal to this monster. If one of her heads was cut off, two new heads grew at this point.

A relative of the jellyfish, a freshwater polyp, also has the ability to regenerate itself almost indefinitely. Its scientific name: Hydra. Damaged cells are not repaired, but completely renewed. It does this by dividing the stem cells, which then develop into specialized cells.

Neither hydra are completely immortal. The son of the Greek god Zeus, Heracles, finally managed to kill the monster. He burned out the water snake's head stumps. However, only one environmental disaster could kill the hydra polyp.