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Jellyfish seen gliding through crystal clear Venice canals

Sunday, April 26th 2020, 4:17 pm - The stunning scene was captured by a biologist that works in Venice

Aquatic life in the Venice canals is thriving amidst the recently pristine waterways that are usually murky from the pollutants that cruise ships and unregulated boats release. The COVID-19 pandemic has forced these activities to suddenly cease, which has caused the waters to run clear for the first time in decades.

Andrea Mangoni is a biologist that works in Venice and captured the mesmerizing video of a jellyfish gliding through the crystal clear waters near the San Marco square. The unusually clear waters also show the reflections of the historic Venetian palaces along the canals.

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"A combination of low tide and low traffic has led to the deposition of sediments on the bottom of the canals, which has led to an increased transparency of the water in the canals of Venice and made it possible to observe marine life directly in the centre of the city," Mangoni explained in an interview with Reuters.

Attilio Rinaldi, an adjunct professor from the Department of Biological, Geological, and Environmental Sciences at Italy's University of Bologna told Reuters that the jellyfish seen in the video is a rhisostoma pulmo. This species is very common in the upper Adriatic and could enter the Venetian canals through tidal flows that connect the upper Adriatic to the lagoon.

Maciej Manko from the Department of Marine Plankton Research Institute of the Oceanography University of Gdansk in Poland explained to Reuters that previous research has shown that this type of jellyfish can travel through networks of natural channels with ease, which could explain why they are being spotted in the Venetian canals.

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