Giant jellyfish along southern Spanish coast

by Lorraine Williamson
Giant jellyfish (disc species)
del canto chambers 2

ANDALUCIA – Residents, and visitors to the coasts of Andalucia have been surprised several times this summer by giant jellyfish. Some specimens weighed more than 30 kilograms. The jellyfish flag was raised in many places. 

Last weekend, in just 24 hours, 2 giant jellyfish were spotted on the beach of Carchuna-Calahonda. And also on the beach of Motril on the coast of the province of Granada. However, they were not the only ones. They have also been spotted on beaches in Marbella and Estepona, in the province of Almería. And in other places along the coast of Andalucia. 

Many afraid to go in the water

In a video recorded by Antena 3, you can see the size of one of the giant jellyfish that appeared on the beach in Rincón de la Victoria. Experts caution but also report that a bite from a large jellyfish is less dangerous than that of some smaller species. However, many beachgoers are afraid to go into the sea because of the jellyfish. Whereas, others crowd to admire washed-up specimens. Still, others bravely use their surfboard paddles to clear the jellyfish. 

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According to experts, this species is rarely seen in the Mediterranean as it is usually common in the Atlantic Ocean. While they assure they are not dangerous, their tentacles do sting. These are jellyfish of the Rhizostoma Luteum species (disc jellyfish), and can weigh up to 40 kilos. Sometimes they are more than 2 metres wide. 

Jellyfish flag raised

For this reason, the protocol of action on the Andalucian beaches has been activated. This means that in many cases the yellow flag is hoisted and a special jellyfish flag also is raised. Rescuers are asking swimmers to be very careful and look closely into the water before diving into it. 

In addition to the giant jellyfish, the usual smaller jellyfish are also present. Stings can cause immediate pain, skin irritation, and in some cases an allergic reaction. 

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