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Training virtual Jellyfish to follow the light

Updated: May 19, 2023

Deep in the oceans of Europa, a beautiful sight can be seen...

The Europan Flame Jelly, that shares similar body structure to Earth bound jellyfish, has been observed to follow bright lights... particularly blue and green.

Did you realize that virtual AI jellyfish are smart?

They can follow each other, avoid each other, and belong to groups

Despite not having any eyes (to the best of our knowledge), they can coordinate in packs aka swarms, and follow each other towards a given target luminous object - provided it is blue or green [although we haven't tested many other colors yet]. It's ability to maneuver in search of the light is rather puzzling to most of us, and we can only imagine that it is attributed to it's AI brain - cleverly programmed by our team of alien movement experts (aka Erick)

Are they dangerous or carnivorous ?

Truth be told, we are not sure. They seem to act much like piranha, so even if you could face the freezing temperatures, and ridiculous pressure, we'd recommend merely watching via a virtual reality headset.

Can we play with this virtual jelly?

Alas, not on your nelly!

These animals are extremely shy, and can only be found about 2km below the ice. To see them firsthand, you'll need to play our virtual reality game "Mission to Europa" aka uniVRsal.

In summary

VR offers some unique experiences, many of which can only be experienced through a headset. Many of which also aren't even real!

The Europan Flame Jelly is one such majestic creature, that although conceived in the minds of students and scientists, may just exist in the real world too.

Additional Info

Europa, EuropaVR, Mission Europa, Europa Prime, and uniVRsal are project names for the STEM-based educational game developed by MXTreality for and with EdGE at TERC,, as part of an NSF-funded project (#2005447) researching and developing a STEM-based VR game for a broad audience, including neurodivergent players. This work is part of a collaboration between MXTreality & TERC to broaden participation in informal STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) learning for all, yet with a special focus on neuro-diverse and autistic learners through the magic offered via virtual reality. The game is expected to launch in alpha in late 2023.

NSF Grant: DRL-2005447

For more information, please see:


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