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A team of Danish scientists is experimenting with new ways to eat the bane of beachgoers.

Charlie Heller
February 20, 2018

Imagine chowing down a bag of chips. Now imagine those chips are made out of jellyfish. This scene might not be too far off in the future. 

Though eating the most distinctive-looking aquatic creatures in existence is nothing new, the bane of many a beachgoer's existence may become a lot more widespread as a culinary delight—if a group of scientists in Denmark have it their way.

Historically, in order to turn jellyfish into something resembling a crunchy chip, you'd need to have them marinate in salt for weeks. But a team of biophysicists and biochemists at the University of Southern Denmark in Odense has found a way to chip-ify the tentacled treat in just a few days, for a snack that's been described as crunchy, salty and "like the ocean."

The process of turning a floppy gel into a crunchy chip isn't just for fun, though. First, jellyfish is healthy! It's "rich in vitamin B12, magnesium, phosphorus, iron and selenium." It's also a more sustainable alternative. A combination of overfishing and climate change is creating an ongoing shift in the aquatic populations, threatening traditional commercial fishing stock. Putting jellyfish on the menu, or in the convenience store, aligns with the rising tide of sustainable seafood. 

As researcher Mathias P. Clausen says, "As this is pioneering work, I think using tools available to us to tackle the science of good eating can open peoples' eyes for a completely new scientific field."