photo

Rhizostome Jellyfish

Haeckel discovered a species of rhizostome jellyfish in Bellagemma, Ceylon, in December 1881. Its form so impressed him that he used it as a model for ceiling decorations in his Villa Medusa home in Jena.
Ernst Haeckel, Kunstformen der Natur / Biodiversity Heritage Library

Haeckel was inspired by nature to create not only stunning scientific illustrations but also decorative pieces for home interiors. Haeckel discovered a species of rhizostome jellyfish in Bellagemma, Ceylon, in December 1881. Its form so impressed him that he used it as a model for ceiling decorations in his Villa Medusa home in Jena. Today, all jellyfish species fished on a commercial basis for human consumption are rhizostomes, which are typically dried and/or salted before eating. China is the first documented country to eat jellyfish, with the practice dating back to at least 300 CE.