Monster jellyfish invasion of U.K. south shores caused by ample food, warm water

Giant jellyfish are invading the U.K. This story is the latest in sightings of the barrel jelly.

Monster jellyfish spotted by Llanelli man on sands of Ferryside | Llanelli Star.

MONSTER jellyfish have landed on the beaches of south west Wales.

And there are warnings many more could be on the way.

Surprised visitors discovered the two foot wide creatures on the sands of Ferryside in Carmarthenshire.

Photo by Jason Dale

Photo by Jason Dale

The higher than normal counts of these huge piles of goo are said to be caused by winter rains which washed nutrients into the seas which in turn fed the plankton that the cnidarians eat.

One observer noted:

“I have seen around 30 jellyfish in the area so far, including live ones.

“They are very heavy creatures and they are continuing to become stranded because of the wind and tide.

“They are being washed into the shallow water and when the tide goes back out, they are left there.

They won’t kill you with any toxins in their tentacles but may be irritating. However, I would NOT like to get pummelled by one in the water.

Though there is no scale in the picture above, it was reportedly 2 feet wide.

The Barrel jellyfish is called Rhizostoma pulmo. More info on them: UK Barrel Jellyfish.

Scientists are studying the reported blooms of jellyfish which may be a clue to the health of the ocean food web. A preliminary assessment (from 2012) concludes that there is not a true “jellyfish invasion” that can be measured. It will take additional data to determine if climate change and pollution are causing issues.

  4 comments for “Monster jellyfish invasion of U.K. south shores caused by ample food, warm water

  1. Paul Robinson
    May 16, 2014 at 4:11 PM

    Read more of this in French surprisingly, or maybe it’s so frequent it’s often ignored in British & Irish news reports. Remember as a kid there used to be a season (or rather 2 – early spring, & mid/late summer) the beaches used to be full of jellyfish. In the French reports & videos the type of jellyfish translates as meduse cauliflower. Gentside is a good science site in French, although most videos are in English with French subtitles.

  2. Lagaya1
    May 16, 2014 at 5:41 PM

    Jellyfish are really interesting creatures. The box jellyfish we have here in Hawaiian waters, comes near shore 9-10 days following the full moon. I wonder if these larger jellyfish also follow a lunar cycle? Any experts out there?

    • Paul Robinson
      May 16, 2014 at 5:51 PM

      Coincidently (though not sure of exact date of event, but around date of report) was just on run up to full moon this side of the pond.

  3. Andrew
    May 19, 2014 at 2:54 PM

    I think another long term factor is that we’ve depleted their predators with overfishing.

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