Fighting jelly with jelly

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis, the election, and more, subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter.


The Cold War isn’t over in Russia, it’s just all wet. The Black Sea is suffering human-caused ecological disaster, and nature is aiming to clean it up itself by starting a spineless war in the sea’s dark waters.

Recent Must Reads

9/14 – Marx as globalization prophet

9/13 – Patient rights, nurse wrongs

9/12 – Punjabi farmers killing selves

9/9 – Cat burglars beware

It seems that, in the 1980s, a non-native jellyfish known as the Mnemiopsis leidyi hitched a ride into the sea in a ship’s ballast water, according to NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC NEWS. The little bugger reproduced, and proceeded to eat all the zooplankton, fish eggs, and other yummy things in the sea that the local bird and fish populations depended on. Toxic algae blooms and devastation of the region’s sprat, anchovy, and scad populations followed.

But in true Darwinian style and without inept (or at least conscious) intervention by humans, another non-native and particularly voracious jellyfish — no one seems to know where this species came from — seems to be invading as well, this one to munch on a few Mnemiopsis burgers. These killer jellyfish prefer other jellies to the lower-on-the-food-chain comestibles. Once the new predator finishes off the old, no one’s sure if the ecosystem will rebound, or if the enemy of this eco-enemy will make such a good friend after all.

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest