Artificial structures such as jetties, oil rigs, pontoons and artificial reefs may be causing increased jellyfish blooms in coastal waters around the world.
Jellyfish larvae settle on hard surfaces and grow into tiny polyps, which eventually turn into jellyfish. Artificial structures have inadvertently provided space for the congregation of millions of jellyfish polyps.
Researchers describe their proposal as the “Trojan Horse” hypothesis. Previous research into increased jellyfish blooms focused on factors such as lack of predators and mature jellyfish numbers.