JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Families were fascinated Monday by the sight of a massive wash-up of jellyfish on Jacksonville’s coastline.
Lifeguards say they first spotted the jellyfish Thursday at Jacksonville Beach.
“I was surprised. Growing up here, you didn’t see it all the time. You occasionally saw one or two but nothing like this,” Amber Pritchett said.
Pritchett and her kids were at Jacksonville Beach for a school project when they stumbled upon the jellyfish.
They took photos as other families dodged the animals.
Lifeguards call them cannonball jellyfish. Families reported seeing them from Atlantic Beach down to St. Johns County.
“Usually they’ve been rolled around in the waves and most of their stinging cells have been knocked off, most of the tentacles are broken off, but we still advise everybody just leave them alone,” Capt. Rob Emahiser of Jacksonville Beach Ocean Rescue said.
He said he’s not surprised by the number of Jellyfish, and added that winds push jellyfish ashore from time to time.
Action News Jax sent photos to FWC and learned Jellyfish can also be affected by changes in water temperature and salinity.
The FWC spokesperson said it’s hard to pinpoint an exact reason for a wash-up because jellyfish deteriorate so quickly, making it hard to study their tissue for a cause.
Both FWC and ocean rescue officials are warning families not to touch the jellyfish.
If you are stung, Emahiser says to treat the area with vinegar. This won't take away the pain, but it will prevent any additional cells from stinging you.
Full FWC statement:
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