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Rosenwald, Md.
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Posted at 11:29 AM ET, 07/22/2011

Dear Jellyfish: Where are you?

There is breaking news to report in Chesapeake Bay. The jellyfish are missing.

“You can almost set your calendar by it,” Sandy Point State Park ranger Mike Travers told The Capital. Meaning this: After July 4, the jellies start their reign of terror.

A jellyfish floats through its basin. (AFP)
Except the jellies haven’t shown up at the park. It’s not that there have only been a few swimming and sliming around, doing what they do, which is stinging. Or even one.

All of the jellyfish are AWOL.

Maggie Sexton’s job is to understand why. She studies jellyfish -- hey, it’s a living -- for the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science. Even she’s miffed. “I’m really surprised that we’re not seeing at least a handful,” she told The Capital.

Like any scientist, Sexton has theories. One: Salt. The Chesapeake, she says, is simply not salty enough right now, with a record low level. Two: winter. Our harsh winter might have slowed down their maturity.

This much is now known: Our jellies are apparently a sensitive lot.

Sexton is hoping they will turn up again soon. Is anyone else?

By  |  11:29 AM ET, 07/22/2011

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