Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Are Jellyfish Made of Jelly?

Melody Bodette
Jellyfish, sadly, are not made of the kind of jelly that goes inside a sandwich.

In this episode we're answering a few short questions about animals! Are jellyfish made of jelly and do they really not have hearts or brains? Do fish stink in the water or on land? Where do they sleep? Do chickens have tongues? Can spiders sleep? How many types of animals are there in the world? Do snakes live in Antarctica? Is a springbok faster than a grizzly bear? Do skunks have big tails or small tails?

Download our learning guides: PDF | Google Slide | Transcript| Coloring Page


"Are jellyfish made of jelly? Why do they have stingers?" -Karin, 6, Brooklyn, NY

Jellyfish are not made of jelly, well, not the kind you might eat on toast or in a sandwich. Jellyfish are actually 95 percent water! That's what allows them to float around in the water currents. The National Ocean Service says that jellyfish are made of three layers, an outer layer called an epidermis, a middle layer called the mesoglea that's made of a thick, elastic, jelly-like tissue, and an inner layer called a gastrodermis, where digestion happens.

Jellyfish that have stingers have them to paralyze their prey. So while you may want to touch them, it's not a good idea, because the stings are actually very painful.

This episode features a fun coloring page by Vermont artist Hilary Ann Love Glass. Download and print it here. You can color as you listen!

About the coloring page artist: Hilary Glass is an illustrator, printmaker and tattoo artist living in Vermont. Her content often explores flora and fauna from her local woodlands as well as imaginary creatures from other worlds entirely.  She uses pen and ink, colored pencils, watercolor and gauche as her primary illustration tools and loves to depict most things with great detail and attention to posture and body language.  You can find more info on instagram @hilaryannloveart and at the website


Melody is the Contributing Editor for But Why: A Podcast For Curious Kids and the co-author of two But Why books with Jane Lindholm.
Jane Lindholm is the host, executive producer and creator of But Why: A Podcast For Curious Kids. In addition to her work on our international kids show, she produces special projects for Vermont Public. Until March 2021, she was host and editor of the award-winning Vermont Public program Vermont Edition.
Latest Stories

But Why is a project of Vermont Public.

vermont public logo