World’s longest animal washes up on UK beach with ‘very nasty sting’

A jellyfish known as the world's longest animal, that has “all the beauty and bite of a lion”, has been washing up on a beach in Wales.

The sting of a lion’s mane is rarely fatal but it can cause skin issues that feel like a bad nettle rash, which is bad news for beach-goers on Traeth Lligwy, a popular spot near Moelfre in North Wales.

Concern is rising after a beach walker issued a warning after coming across the jellyfish, that can grow to be longer than blue whales, the world’s largest mammal, on the Anglesey beach, North Wales Live reports.

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Richard Lee, a holidaymaker from Lincolnshire, said: “I came across this bad boy on my last day on the island. There were a few others on the beach.

"As the summer school break has just started, I thought visitors should be warned before some poor kid gets hurt.”

The jellyfish gets its name from its red-orange cluster of tentacles that can reach enormous lengths.

It is often cited as the world’s longest animal, with one found off the coast of Massachusetts, USA, having tentacles measuring 36.6 metres (120ft) long.

The ones Mr Lee saw were much smaller, as is typical in the Irish Sea. Measuring about 1.5ft across, it was less than a quarter of the size of record-breaking specimens.

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Their tentacles are packed with stinging cells that are used to catch fish and smaller jellyfish. On its website, NWWT warned: “Fragments of its tentacles will sting you even if they’re no longer attached to the jellyfish.

"They will still sting long after they’ve been on the shore.”

In healthy people their stings are not known to be fatal unless they suffer from certain allergies.

Four years ago a mum claimed her son was badly stung by a lion’s mane when jumping into the sea near the Great Orme, Llandudno. When he surfaced, his top half was said to have been covered in an “orange-ish blob”.

He subsequently suffered weals that spread across his back, shoulder and side of face. “He was in agony for about eight hours,” she said. “I mean, he was an absolute mess.”


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