#5271 – Crown Jellyfish
2018 50c Bioluminescent Life
Value: 50¢ 1-ounce first-class letter rate- Forever
Issued: February 22, 2018
First Day City: Fort Pierce, FL
Type of Stamp: Commemorative
Printed by: Banknote Corporation of America
Format: Pane of 20
Quantity Printed: 40,000,000 stamps
Jellyfish can be found in all parts of the world’s oceans – from the surface to the depths of the ocean floor. While there are many different species, those that live near the ocean floor have one thing in common – they light up the darkness with vivid bioluminescence.
There are more than 2,000 different species of jellyfish (though scientists think there could be as many as 300,000 that have not been discovered yet). Of those species that have been discovered, about half are bioluminescent and most live near the ocean floor.
Most jellyfish use their luminescence for defense. Some species use bright flashes to scare away predators. Others create a chain of light with their tentacles. There are also species that release thousands of tiny glowing particles that resemble plankton to confuse predators while they slip away. Other jellyfish excrete a glowing slime that sticks to their predators, catching the attention of even larger creatures. Some jellyfish light up their tentacles and detach them, creating glowing decoys.
Some species of jellyfish emit light when they are eggs. Their light gets brighter over time and spreads farther across their bodies as they grow. This has led scientists to believe their luminescence is related to the development of their nervous system. This is a significant find as scientists are constantly trying to understand why and how some creatures glow.