Family Finds Jellyfish While Swimming In Missouri Lake

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Courtesy USGS

MISSOURI — On Sunday (Sept. 11) a Missouri family made quite an unexpected discovery while swimming in the Lake of the Ozarks — jellyfish.

“At first, I was thinking somebody had, like, littered, and there was plastic in the water,” Taylor Kelley told KRCG. “And then we noticed that there was a couple, and we were like, well, what is that?”

The Kelley family discovered freshwater jellyfish, which can be found in 44 states, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. The jellyfish are typically found in temperate eastern states, but they can also be found in Arkansas and Missouri, including in the Missouri River and Lake of the Ozarks, where the Kelley family was swimming.

Luckily, freshwater jellyfish, which are native to China, do not pose a threat to humans, reported KCRG. They eat zooplankton and possibly feed on fish eggs, and provide food for crayfish.

However, spotting the jellyfish can be rare.

Taylor’s father, Brian, said he’d lived by the lake for 30 year and had never seen a freshwater jellyfish before his daughter pointed it out. When she first told him about her find, he thought she was playing a trick on him.

“I didn’t realize there was such as thing as a freshwater jellyfish,” he said.

The Kelleys saw four jellyfish while swimming off the dock and were able to catch and release three of them.

However, they said they will certainly be looking out for the freshwater jellyfish in the future.


To read more about the Kelleys’ discovery on our CBS affiliate KRCG’s website, click here.