Invasion of monster jellyfish to wreak havoc on Brits staycations this summer
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A monster jellyfish invasion is set to hit staycationers this summer.
The warming seas round our coast will tempt the monstrous blobs out of their deep ocean lairs and onto our packed beaches, experts have warned. There have already been mass landings on the south coast from jellyfish with weaker stings.
But that has sparked fears that even hotter weather could entice Portuguese Man o’ War jellyfish, which have tentacles up to 160ft long and have been known to be deadly to humans.
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The Marine Conservation Society has said the rise in the number of jellyfish around the British coast “can no longer be ignored”.
A spokesman said: “Our national survey suggests significant recent rises in the numbers of some jellyfish species in UK seas, most notably the barrel jellyfish.
“The million-dollar question is why this is happening? At the moment we just don’t know.”
The creatures began their assault earlier this week with swarms of moon jellyfish appearing in a watersports lagoon in Hove, Sussex.
Jack Shead, centre manager for Lagoon Watersports, said: “When we first spotted them, most were relatively small.
“People initially want to know if they sting, and once they realise they don’t, they are cool.”
The Man o’ War breed drifts unseen, inches below the surface, and just one sting from those giant feelers can leave a swimmer in agony – and can kill.
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In the Mediterranean in 2010, Maria Furcas, 69, suffered an allergic reaction and died after being stung on the right leg by one as she swam with her sister at Porto Tramatzu near Cagliari, Sardinia.
In July 2018 Verity Stainton, 13, staggered in agony from the sea with ‘burns’ all over her body after a nightmare attack at Mablethorpe, Lincs.
Surfers and swimmers are not always able to spot the creatures before they are stung.
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Barrel Jellyfish can grow up to 90cm (35in) wide and weigh as much as 25kg (55lb).
Their tentacles can reach lengths of 6ft (1.9m).
Jellyfish had been thought to be ‘passive drifters’, carried about on the ocean currents, but new research has found that they actively swim.
Anyone who spots a jellyfish is asked to report it on the Marine Conservation Society’s website.
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