‘Sacs’ by Kara Vernor

— Melissa Mesku

Jellyfish are weird. For one, they can clone themselves. Not just reproductively, but regeneratively: cut one in half, and you’ll have two. Some jellyfish glow in the dark, and their fluorescent protein is being tested as a power source. Some jellyfish are immortal—their ability to turn themselves back into a polyp allows them to start the life cycle over and over again. Perhaps the weirdest thing about jellyfish is that they may not even exist. There are more than ten thousand species of them—some belonging to entirely different phyla, even—leading marine biologists to argue over whether a “jellyfish” is even a thing. But of course it’s a thing, even if it’s not, scientifically. Jellyfish are jellyfish because they look weird, they move weird. One type of jellyfish, with the beautiful Latin name of Deepstaria enigmatica, moves exactly like the trash bag in American Beauty. Their adult phase is called the medusa phase, named for its tentacles that move like a mane of snakes. And that undulating orb-like crown—brainless, with distributed nerves, clear and jiggly like a fake breast. Now read ‘Sacs’ by Kara Vernor.

Vol. 1 Brooklyn