Kids discover jelly fish in Albany area holding pond
Some of the fresh-water jellyfish discovered in an Albany area holding pond
Marquis Farley, Alexis Wininger and Grant Wininger, the kids who discovered the jelly fish in the Albany area holding pond
a USGS map of the common locations of the fresh water jellyfish, found mostly in the Eastern United States
Jennifer Harrell, mother of the Wininger kids
Richard Brown, Flint Riverquarium General Curator
ALBANY, GA (WALB) -
Seeing jellyfish on a coastal beach isn't anything unusual. You probably don't expect them to turn up in southwest Georgia, but that's exactly what a couple of kids found in an Albany holding pond Wednesday afternoon.
Freshwater jellyfish may be more common than you think.
"It was crazy. I've never seen a jelly fish," said Alexis Wininger, an Albany Resident who discovered the jellyfish in the holding pond near Palmyra Road and Ken Gardens Road. .
Family members thought the kids were pulling a prank.
"They didn't believe me! He went and looked it up," said Wininger.
"And they were like, 'Man, how in the world did they get in there," said Marquis Farley, Albany Resident.
When they found the jellyfish, they rushed home to grab a bucket and then scooped them up in a tub so they could take it back to show their mom.
"I Googled it to make sure, and then I called the Riverquarium and they told me it was possibly larva. And I was like, 'no these things are moving like jellyfish. You want me to come show you?' She said yeah, if you don't mind," said Jennifer Harrell, Wininger's Mother.
The General Curator at the Flint Riverquarium confirmed the nickel sized animals were in fact fresh-water jelly fish, which are found in much of the Eastern United States and even parts of Canada.
"They don't occur all the time, they kind of occur in blooms," said Richard Brown, Flint Riverquarium General Curator.
He said the jellies have probably been in the pond for a while, and likely became more visible in their latest of five life cycles.
"They do have stingers though, just like a regular jelly fish. And they catch small fish and stuff. But the stinging cells are so small that they wouldn't hurt a human," said Brown.
And that was good news for people hoping to get a close look.
"Everybody wanted to take a picture, 'cause they thought it was cool 'cause they've never seen one in Albany. So then they touched them to see if they could sting, but they didn't sting us or nothin'," said Alexis Wininger.
And jellyfish may not have been the only discovery.
"It kind of says something about the sort of person who has that kind of curiosity that they want to know and they drive all the way down to the aquarium and see what it was. I think that's pretty neat. I think we may have a young marine biologist budding there," said Brown.
So, Thursday's discovery could spark a new career.
The family may try to get a proper fish tank so they can keep the jellies.