I was reading an article about efforts in the Fukui Prefecture of Japan to promote eating giant jellyfish. Jellyfish cooking classes are being held. The jellyfish is eaten raw, or preserved in salt. It can be served Chinese-style with cucumber and vinegar soy sauce or served with plum sauce.

But before this becomes another ‘Those wacky Japanese will eat anything‘ discussion, consider the reason why these folks living on the Sea of Japan are pushing tasty jellyfish snackies: Every autumn, echizen kurage, or giant jellyfish, appear in massive numbers. The Japanese commercial fishermen that are trying to catch squid, anchovies, salmon and yellowtail instead find huge numbers of jellyfish in their nets. Huge numbers. Like, enough to break the nets.

And if they manage to actually catch any useful commercial species in their nets, along with the jellyfish, they’re immediately poisoned and slimed by the jellyfish tentacles, and can’t be sold.

These things, also called Nomura’s Jellyfish, can be over six feet in diameter, and weigh over 400 lbs. That’s a big jellyfish. I simply had to find pictures of these things:

Holy Crap! Those things are HUGE! Note in the third picture that the diver is NOT in the background. Man, that will give you nightmares. I had no idea such things existed.

You kind of have to admire these folks. Nature throws them a plague of giant jellyfish, and their response is “Okay, I guess we’ll just eat them.”

If you want to know more, here’s the wikipedia entry on Nomura’s Jellyfish.

UPDATE: 10-6-06 Entry revised to include a new picture.