Jellyfish create a “Virtual Wall” to enhance performance

The image was taken in a glass shooting vessel. Loan University of South Florida

New research from the University of South Florida has found that jellyfish have become “the most productive swimmer in the world.” Brad Gemel, an associate professor of integrative biology, found that jellyfish produce two whirlpool rings, a liquid in the form of a cookie under their translucent body, that rotate in the opposite direction. They appear as jellyfish squeeze and reopen during each swimming cycle, providing a “surface effect” force as if they were being pushed out of the seabed.

The “ground effect” is more widely perceived on airport runways. During flight, air is compressed into the “ground” of the aircraft, which creates a pressure և force that increases performance. Gemmell experiments have shown that jellyfish can use both rings of their vortex instead of the ground. The rotating rings resist each other, creating a “virtual wall” that provides a similar increase in performance compared to animals swimming close to the bottom. It has never been proven that an animal can create this phenomenon far from a solid border.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UKB87pdfiiQ:
The high-speed camera captures jellyfish swimming through a laser beam with trace particles. Loan University of South Florida

“The fact that these ordinary animals have figured out how to achieve a ‘terrestrial effect’ in open water, away from solid surfaces, has the potential to enable a number of new opportunities for engineering vehicles to take advantage of this phenomenon. “- said Gemel.

Published in the study “Scientific Bulletin of the Royal Society B.The camera captured the motion of eight jellyfish floating in a glass jar using a high-speed digital camera at 1,000 frames per second. He and his colleagues saw that jellyfish were in motion, a 41% increase in maximum swimming speed, a 61% increase in cumulative distance from the swimming cycle compared to those at rest.

Jellyfish swimming cycle

Anatomical features of the jellyfish և The arrangement of the vortex for the lunar jellyfish during the swimming cycle. Loan University of South Florida

Unlike the screw movement, jellyfish do not form hollow bubbles and are silent, allowing them to move smoothly through the water. The high efficiency of swimming helps them to accumulate energy for growth and reproduction. Several research groups are using jellyfish as a model for the development of underwater vehicles that can be equipped with sensors that monitor the ocean without interruption. These new discoveries could spur the development of these technologies հետ further understanding of the ocean.

Reference. “The most effective Metazoyan swimmer creates a ‘virtual wall’ to increase performance” by Brad G. Gemel, K. T. Du Clos, Sean P. Colin, Kelly R. Sutherland և H. on H. Costello, 2021 January 6, Scientific Bulletin of the Royal Society B.,
DOI: 10.1098 / rspb.2020.2494:

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