Giant Jellyfish Invasion
People of Sussex have been given a fright this week as giant jellyfish have been discovered washed up on the shores. Jellyfish measuring up to 4ft in length were seen in the water and on the beach last week in Hove and surrounding areas.
Arron Hendy, 38, assistant news editor at the Argus found another of the huge jellyfish whilst strolling along Seaford beach with his family.
“It was a shock to suddenly see this huge jellyfish in front of us. It must have been three or four foot long and it just looked so fresh. It looked like it had just been washed up. I looked around but didn’t see any more.”
Experts are currently unsure on the exact species but they agree that they could be barrel jellyfish. Although this species normally live further out to sea it is believed that this year’s warm sea temperatures could be the cause of the intrusion.
Carey Duckhouse, of Brighton’s SeaLife Centre, said:
“Large jellyfish are a natural occurrence and are native in our waters, and occasionally they do get washed up. This seems to be a barrel jellyfish, rhizostoma octopus, a known British species. As with anything in the ocean, things are more likely to be washed up if there has been a storm offshore or if they die of other natural causes. Leatherback turtles are seasonal visitors in our waters feeding on jellyfish, so it is feasible that a jelly may be partially eaten, and washed up.”
Barrel jellyfish can sting although they are not harmful to humans. It is not recommended to touch any jellyfish with your bare hands!