Friday, February 17, 2012

A jellyfish attack causes a Luzon-wide blackout

Jellyfish is not actually a fish but a soft-bodied, stinging sea animal. Well, I think, explanation about what jellyfish is is not needed anymore.

I was not yet living in Metro Manila that time, I can't even remember a news about. Well, you can't blame me why I don't know this though. I was still a playing toddler in those days with no interest on current events or anything that happens around me.

By the way, the event really happened. It is true that jellyfishes caused a massive black out in the Philippines. What brought it here is the rumors.

The Story



On the night of December 10, 1999, most of Luzon's lights went out, especially NCR (National Capital Region) or more commonly known as Metro Manila. Some 40 million people abruptly lost power. Malls full of Christmas shoppers plunged into darkness. Holiday parties ground to a halt. President Joseph Estrada, meeting with senators at the time, endured a tense ten minutes before a generator restored the lights, while the public remained in the dark until the cause of the crisis was announced, and dealt with, the next day.

The reason of the black out is a large number of jellyfish (50 truck loads of jellyfishes) which was sucked in a cooling pipes of a coal-fired power plant, causing a cascading power failure.

The Rumor


  • Rumor has it that the jellyfish were giant mutant ones. And according to one of our readers who claimed he himself saw the animals together with his sister, it is indeed giant jellyfish, but didn't mention they were mutants of course.

  • It was the height of President Joseph "Erap" Estrada's notoriety so a lot of people thought that another coup d' etat was brewing.

  • Some also thought it was the early manifestation of the Millenium (Y2K) Bug.

  • Sources:
    http://www.smithsonianmag.com/specialsections/40th-anniversary/Jellyfish-The-Next-Kings-of-the-Sea.html?c=y&page=1
    http://www.spot.ph/newsfeatures/41192/urban-legends-that-drove-pinoys-crazy
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/560070.stm