Carefree swimming without jellyfish in Spain? Do the check

by Lorraine Williamson
jellyfish app

Those who do not want encounters with jellyfish on Spanish beaches or in the sea this summer can check the ‘jellyfish situation’ at various locations in real time.

A website and an app provide information on whether there are jellyfish in a particular area, what species they are, how dangerous they are and whether they sting. 

Jellyfish infestations are becoming increasingly common. Whether on a beach in Almeria, in Ceuta, Valencia or in the Mar Menor in Murcia. The rise in water temperatures, especially in the Mediterranean, and the absence of the jellyfish’s natural enemy mean that these molluscs can spoil the fun of a dip in the sea.  

With the MedusaApp, before heading to the beach, real-time information allows you to find out if there are jellyfish. And not only whether they are there, but also whether they are harmless or viciously biting. You can download the app from the Appstore or GooglePlay.  

Traffic light 

Green dots indicate areas or beaches that are jellyfish-free. Furthermore, if there is an uncoloured warning, it means jellyfish that do not sting have been found in that area. Moreover, a risk traffic light has been set up for areas where there are stinging jellyfish: 

Yellow – lightly stinging jellyfish 

Orange – painfully stinging jellyfish 

Red – very painfully stinging jellyfish 

There is also the option to filter the jellyfish map of Spain’s beaches by dates. This allows you to see in which areas you are most at risk, where jellyfish are more common and which jellyfish are involved. Useful if you want to avoid jellyfish at all costs during your holidays. This practical jellyfish warning system was created by the Polytechnic University of Valencia.  

These species are the most common in Spain 

According to data from the Instituto de Ciencias del Mar, these jellyfish species are the most common on the Spanish coast: 

Cogesa Expats
Portuguese man o´war

The most dangerous jellyfish of all, It can have tentacles up to 20 metres long, and can be recognised by its violet colour above the surface of the water. Fortunately, it is rarely found on Spanish beaches or in Spanish waters. 

The pearl jellyfish or luminous jellyfish 

A sting from the luminous jellyfish stings very badly. The species is common in Spain. The jellyfish is brown when young and pink when mature. It can be up to 20 centimetres in diameter. 

Compass jellyfish. The compass jellyfish is rare in Spain. A sting from the compass jellyfish stings very badly and can be painful. The jellyfish is yellowish in colour with brown stripes. It resembles an umbrella.  

Cross jellyfish  

Can sting viciously. The good news is that it is rare on Spanish beaches. It is translucent, with purple tentacles. 

Cube jellyfish or sea wasp. This species is not common in Spain. The cube jellyfish can sting viciously. The jellyfish is cubical, translucent, bluish or whitish in colour and has four long, well-marked tentacles. 

Blue jellyfish 

Is common and stings. Grows up to 40 centimetres and is bluish-white in colour. 

Giant jellyfish  

A rare jellyfish on Spanish coasts, but it stings. It is very large, up to 60 centimetres. It is bluish-white in colour. 

Mud jellyfish  

Common in Spain. There is currently an infestation in the Mar Menor in Murcia. 

Still bitten? 

If you do get bitten, keep the bite site under salt water and sand. Vinegar on the bite can also help make the venom less active. Do not rinse the bite with fresh water or alcohol, this can actually speed up the spread of the venom!  

Read more about jellyfish in Spain 

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