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Thousand of Jellyfish Caused a Massive Power Outage in the Philippines in 1999

A statue is a free-standing sculpture that features realistic, full-length figures of people or animals carved or cast in a durable material such as wood, metal, or stone. But did you know why statues in Ancient Greece were built with small penises?

Small penises are depicted on Ancient Greek male statues because they represented the ideals of male beauty at the time: youth, strength, and modesty. Large penises were thought to be vulgar and associated with savages and evil spirits.

Coup De Jellyfish

In 1999, 40 million people in the Philippines lost power unexpectedly, sparking fears of a military coup, only to discover that the cooling pipes of one power grid had sucked up 50 dump trucks’ worth of jellyfish, causing an outage.

The holiday parties came to a halt. President Joseph Estrada, who was meeting with senators at the time, endured a tense ten minutes before a generator was restored to power. At the same time, the public was left in the dark until the cause of the crisis was announced and dealt with the following day. The blackout was not the result of disgruntled generals.

The power outage was caused by a swarm of jellyfish that clogged the intake pumps supplying water to power plants in the northern town of Sual.

The fact that the President’s initial reaction and that of many people invested the power failure with political-conspiracy meaning is revealing. It gave expression to the pervasive atmosphere of political uncertainty that has probably been fanned by forecasts that the President may not finish his term.

Armando Doronila, Political Commentator for Philippine Daily Inquirer

Power was restored in some areas a day later, but brief outages continued to hit several areas.

Here we are at the dawn of a new millennium, in the age of cyberspace, and we are at the mercy of jellyfish.

The Philippine Star

(Source: Philstar

What Caused the Over-Population of the Jellyfish? 

According to marine biologist Diana Macpherson, jellyfish blooms occur when water temperatures rise, increasing the amount of food available for jellyfish to eat.

Jellyfish numbers increase as a result, then prevailing winds and currents can gather them up into dense groups and strand them on beaches

Diana Macpherson, Marine Biologist

Jellyfishes, which are frequently abundant, play an essential role in marine food webs as predators or prey or as decomposing scraps of food for suspension feeders in the water or on the seafloor, where bacteria eventually process the decay products. (Source: World Socialist Web Site

Jellyfish Bloom Problem

Jellyfish, the brainless, spineless, eyeless, bloodless creatures are proliferating and wreaking havoc all over the world. Due to their proclivity to reproduce quickly and prolifically, Jellyfish have the potential to devastate ocean ecosystems in an instant

And their consequences aren’t limited to the sea. Jellyfish blooms have harmed power plants in Sweden, Israel, the United States, and the Philippines. Plants in Japan have also been forced to close due to jellyfish. (Source: ABC News)

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