A Career Path for Jellyfish

If you seek immortality, your second option is to masquerade as a Turritopsis dohrnii, the immortal jellyfish (not making this up).  Turritopsis dohrnii can, after reaching maturity, slowly revert back to its youth and begin the entire cycle again, a process that in theory can go on forever, though most of the jellyfish succumb to predation or disease.

I suggest there’s another viable cause for jellyfish demise, one that relates to the philosophy of eternal life, to the story of moi, and to a possible career path for jellyfish.  Simply put, I think Turritopsis dohrnii dies of boredom.  As journalist Herb Caen has pointed out, “The only thing wrong with immortality is that it tends to go on forever.”

Consider the life of jellyfish.  First, they’re not fish; they’re not even vertebrates; they’re spineless.  Second, their nervous system is comprised solely of nerves that stretch along the outer body, with no brain; they’re brainless.  Third, nobody likes jellyfish; they’re unpopular.  And finally, they’re gelatinous blobs that float around; they’re do-nothings.  That’s why I think jellyfish would thrive in the United States Congress—as spineless, brainless, unpopular, do-nothing gelatinous blobs, they’d fit right in.  And whereas a typical Congressperson, being human (more or less), can serve for perhaps fifty years at most, an immortal jellyfish could serve forever, thus sparing constituents the hassle of thinking about whom to vote for.  And for the jellyfish, though saddled with immortality and Beltway traffic, they at least would have good perks, like interns and free airport parking.  (If comparing Congress to jellyfish seems disrespectful, I’d like to apologize to the jellyfish.)