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Visit 12 Incredible Species of Jellies at Shedd

Jellies can be found all around Shedd. While there are many species of jellies across the universe, Shedd is currently home to 12. Find them in the Polar Play Zone, Oceans and Underwater Beauty!

The round bell of a translucent moon jelly viewed from the side.

1. Moon jellies

When you see these beauties drifting through the water effortlessly, know that it is not effortless at all. These jellies are not the best swimmers, and instead, use the current of the water to float around! Get up close and you can even see their entire reproductive system through their colorless skin.

2. White-spotted jellies

You might come across our white-spotted jellies in Underwater Beauty. Their milky white bodies and striking spots on their “bell” may catch your eye. Every wonder how jellies eat? White-spotted jellies are a great species to study, as they uniquely use their tentacles to grab onto food and curl them all the way up to their mouths. Check out the Shedd-exclusive video above to learn more about white-spotted jellies before your visit.

A group of Japanese sea nettles drift together.
Japanese Sea Nettles swim at Shedd Aquarium.

3. Japanese sea nettle

Jellies’ tentacles are fascinating; Japanese sea nettles’ tentacles will surely grab your eye. These vibrant aquatic animals typically have bright, orange stripes on its body and long stingers that protect them from predators. These jellies grab onto food like zooplankton, tiny nutrient packed organisms, and float with the current of the water, causing their circular bodies to expand and compress.

A purple-striped jelly at Shedd Aquarium.

4. Purple stripe nettle

Living in the coastal waters of the Pacific Ocean, these purple-striped jellies have around eight, long tentacles that float under its body. These marvelous animals are known to create relationships with other aquatic animals, specifically crabs, that hide underneath the jellies’ bodies and away from predators. The shelter that purple stripe nettles provide to them is enough to let these crabs live longer lives and has been an incredible find by scientists!

 A flower hat Jelly at Shedd Aquarium.
Flower Hat Jellies in Underwater Beauty

5. Flowerhat jelly

The magnificent small tentacles of flowerhat jellies extend from underneath its body, curving around its “bell.” Unlike other jellies, whose tentacles float graciously below, flowerhat jellies have a unique shape and luminescent color that fill the eyes with awe. These jellies are nocturnal, meaning they sleep during the day— and stay up all night.

Like all aquatic animals, jellyfish live fascinating lives in waters around the world. Thousands of species float around, protecting themselves and others from predators. While they may not have eyes to look directly into, the beauty of their bodies is enough to inspire. Learn more about our jellies and where you can find them at Shedd on our jellies page.

—Bianca Diaz, Digital Marketing Intern