Activity: Jellies as Drifters


Students will be able to:

  • interpret real time wave height, directional flow and sea surface temperature data
  • predict where jellies might be lurking in the ocean


Computer with Internet access
Student worksheet – Jellies as Drifters


Jellies are drifters, meaning that their movement is largely at the mercy of the tides and currents in the water.


Today, a large group of moon jellies (sting) was found at 39:30 N 74:00 W.

Concentrations of moon jellies are usually found in the temperature range of 9 – 19°C (but they can withstand temperatures as low as -6 and as high as 31°C ).

  1. Access the Coolroom Sea Surface Temperature data ( and determine if the temperature of the water might effect the moon jellies?
  2. Access the Coolroom CODAR data ( and determine where the jellies might move.


  • Build your own Jelly – NY Aquarium Jellies Exhibit  (
  • Discovery Channel – Science of the Deep – Movie – Salps – Mid Water Mysteries

This activity was originally developed by COSEE-MA by Liesl Hotaling and Janice McDonnell.


One Response to Activity: Jellies as Drifters

  1. Profile photo of Crystal DiBetta
    Crystal DiBetta August 13, 2010 at 9:51 am #

    A great book that talks about jellies as drifters is “Jellies” by Twig C. George. It would be a great book to read before doing this activity.

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