Last weekend, there was an alligator near Kalamazoo.  A few of months ago, there was an iguana in Grand Rapids. Now a jellyfish in Greenville?

Yes.  But this is different.  The alligator and iguana were lost or abandoned, the jellyfish were in their natural habitat.

The jellyfish in Greenville were rare, freshwater jellyfish! 

The jellyfish, four of them, were found in Como Lake in Greenville.

It's rare, but it does happen according to the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.  The DNR says they are discovered about once every 15 years and their jellyfish state is only a short part of their life cycle.

Some hear reports of the jellyfish more often.

Fisheries Biologist Tom Goniea said he starts to get reports about the jellyfish at this time every year, late in the summer. He said the relatives of actual jellyfish do not have the stinging capabilities of an actual jellyfish.

“They do not pose a threat to swimmers or the public,” Goniea said.

Alec and Trenton Martinez were fishing in Como Lake in Greenville recently when they spotted hundreds of freshwater jellyfish. They took a photo and released the creatures back into the lake.

Department of Natural Resources Fisheries Division Manager Jay Wesley in Plainwell said there are records of the jellyfish dating back to the 1800s.

“Yes, they do exist in southern Michigan lakes,” Wesley said. “They are a little different than the jellyfish you see in a marine environment, but they look very much like a jellyfish and are usually seen in deeper waters.”

Most of the freshwater jellyfish are about the size of penny up to the size of a quarter and very sporadic.

“You might see them one year and then not see them again for 15 years (in the same lake),” Wesley said.

Most of the jellyfish develop into polyps (a sedentary animal form) on the bottom of the lake and do not emerge, only emerging as a jellyfish for a brief part of their life cycle.

Wow.  I had no idea.  The movie Jurassic Park is beginning to seem a little more realistic lately.