Subscribe on Google PlayStitcher, or iTunes

Come talk to us on Twitter@bigthinkagain

Jason Gots

What happens  in your brain when I say the word “Jellyfish”? 

If you’re not a marine biologist, and if going to the beach almost anywhere in the world is a part of your life, the word probably makes you wince. Maybe you remember getting stung. Maybe you remember someone putting meat tenderizer on it (is it good for anything else?) 

But as my guest today, Juli Berwald, knows, Jellyfish are neither a fish, nor the cartoon villains we make them out to be. They’re a fascinating, complex, diverse lifeform whose tentacles are tangled up in all of our lives in ways we’re only dimly aware of. 

Juli Berwald is a science writer with a PHD in Ocean Science. Her new book is Spineless: The Science of Jellyfish and the Art of Growing a Backbone. 

Surprise conversation-starter clips in this episode

Joscha Bach on free willRichard Dawkins on animal cruelty 

Jellyfish fun fact #3: A big cluster of  jellyfish is called a “smack” or a “bloom”.   Opinion: Bloom sounds better.

About Think Again - A Big Think Podcast: Since 2008, Big Think has been sharing big ideas from creative and curious minds. Since 2015, the Think Again podcast has been taking us out of our comfort zone, surprising our guests and Jason Gots, your host, with unexpected conversation starters from Big Think’s interview archives.

You've got 10 minutes with Einstein. What do you talk about? Black holes? Time travel? Why not gambling? The Art of War? Contemporary parenting? Some of the best conversations happen when we're pushed outside of our comfort zones. Each week on Think Again, we surprise smart people you may have heard of with short clips from Big Think's interview archives on every imaginable subject. These conversations could, and do, go anywhere.