Currently set to Index
Currently set to Follow

Are Jellyfish Alive?

Jellyfish are alive, even though they might not appear to be. They don’t have brains, but they can move around, eat, and perform other basic functions such as reproduction, excretion, and feeding.

Large Jellyfish
Jellyfish are living beings, although they don’t have a brain

Jellyfish are indeed alive. They might appear as though they aren’t, but they still carry out all the functions that a live being would. They don’t have brains, but they are still beings that are alive, even though they might not look that way at first sight.

Is a Jellyfish a Living Thing?

Jellyfish are living beings. They belong to the genus of Cnidaria. This genus of animals belongs to the group of animals called planktonic marines and also includes corals and sea anemones.

Read More: Can Jellyfish Live Forever?

For most of the animals in this group, there are several types of behaviors that separate them from other plankton animals.

Jellyfish have a better ability to move around than plankton, which is mostly moved around by water inadvertently. Jellyfish, on the other hand, have the ability to move around voluntarily with their muscles.

Jellyfish live, breathe, eat, reproduce, and excrete as other living beings do, which makes them alive. However, jellyfish also don’t have brains, which means they’re not fully aware of themselves and their surroundings.

This means that even though they do show some forms of being alive, they’re not aware of themselves and can’t think.

Instead of using their brains and being self-aware, jellyfish use their complex nervous system instead. Using their complex nerve cells, jellyfish have a good sense of the environment around them and their surroundings.

Small Jellyfish
Although jellyfish don’t have brains, they are just as alive as other marine plankton

Related Article: Do Jellyfish Eat Zooplankton?

Are Jellyfish Self-Aware?

Jellyfish don’t have brains, so they’re not self-aware. They can’t feel and they can’t think as humans do, so they are not fully aware of their being.

While it is true that jellyfish aren’t capable of thinking, this doesn’t mean they are not alive. A jellyfish might appear stationary but it will also display most of the behaviors that all animals that live do.

They eat, reproduce, breathe, and be able to move around voluntarily, too.

Another function that makes jellyfish alive is the active metabolism, which allows them to process what they eat. They also go through growth cycles, which signal that these animals develop constantly.

They’re also able to respond to stimuli thanks to their nerve cells that make them aware of their surroundings.

Just because a jellyfish doesn’t have a brain doesn’t mean that this animal is not alive. Even bacteria are considered to be alive, even though they can’t think, just like jellyfish. The main difference between jellyfish and other animals that have a brain is the ability to think and feel.

Beached Jellyfish
Jellyfish have no concept of self awareness and can’t feel pain, so next time you see one washed up on the beach, don’t feel too sorry for it.

Related Article: How Many Legs Do Jellyfish Have?

How Do Jellyfish Live Without a Brain?

Jellyfish can live without a brain by using their nervous system. This nervous system helps the jellyfish recognize the environment around it and control the movement of the muscles. It acts as a central station for swimming and feeling the environment.

Even though jellyfish don’t have a brain, they can still survive in the wild. The main replacement for the brain is the central nervous system.

This is essentially a complex net of nerves that help the jellyfish create motor activity, and it’s also essential for any sensory activity that the jellyfish does.

Jellyfish have neurons throughout their entire body. These neurons form a complex, unorganized system of nerves that replace all the functions of the brain. It is this nervous system that helps the jellyfish function even without having a brain. 

The neurons will send signals through the body when the jellyfish needs to move and contract its muscles. It will also help the fish detect movement around it and sense danger, which is essential as to how the jellyfish acts.

This helps the animal with self-defense and the act of survival.

In addition, it’s also necessary for the jellyfish to use the central nervous system for all the major functions that allow the fish to be alive, such as feeding, breeding, excretion, and other functions.

But because the jellyfish doesn’t have a brain, it’s not able to think nor is it able to feel emotions like we do, for example. 

Swarm of jellyfish
Jellyfish don’t have brains, but they have large nervous systems that allow them to react to stimuli

Related Article: Do Jellyfish Work Together?

Can Jellyfish Feel?

Jellyfish can’t feel emotions or sensations. They don’t have endorphins and other hormones that motivate them to feel emotions, and they also don’t have a brain to do it, so they don’t have the capacity to feel.

In essence, jellyfish are pretty basic animals. While they are still alive as they perform all the main functions of beings that are alive, they can’t feel nor can they sense the world around them.

Many people think that animals that can’t feel emotions or feelings are not truly alive. Sure, they’re not alive in the same sense of the word as we are, but they are still animals that perform basic functions of living beings, even though on a very different level compared to us.

Because jellyfish don’t have a brain, they also don’t have the amygdala, which is essential for humans when feeling emotions. 

Read Also: Dead Fish Spiritual Meaning and Symbolism

Final Thoughts

Even though jellyfish don’t have a brain, they are still live beings performing all the functions that an animal that is alive does. They eat, reproduce, breathe, and excrete, but they can’t feel emotions nor can they think.

Their being is very different to our being and they act on instincts instigated by their nervous system rather than their brains.

Skip to content