Cabrillo Marine Aquarium

Crystal Jelly

Aequorea victoria


Fun Facts

    Crystal jellies can expand their mouth to eat prey half their size!

    Scientists were awarded the Nobel Prize in 2008 for the discovery and development of a protein found in crystal jellies.




The crystal jelly is a type of sea jelly that lives both nearshore and offshore in the eastern Pacific Ocean. Crystal jellies occur from the Bering Sea to Southern California. The body is nearly transparent and has long, delicate tentacles. The bell usually does not get larger than three inches.

Crystal jellies feed on copepods but sometimes may consume ctenophores and other jellies. Most probably live six months or less in the wild. At times, the crystal jelly can give off a green glow around the edge of the bell. This is caused by a photoprotein, called aequorin, which emits blue light (called bioluminescence), and an accessory protein, called the green fluorescent protein (GFP), which emits green light. GFP accepts energy from aequorin and re-emits it (called fluorescence) as green light. 

Crystal jellies are usually found at the Aquarium in tank number 30.