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Jellyfish South Florida

April 4, 2016 by staff 

Jellyfish South Florida, on April 1 that thousands of jellyfish appeared to have invaded the South Florida beach.

The bluish marine creatures covered the shoreline, raising concerns from beach goers and members of the public.

“We are flying our Purple flag for dangerous marine life,” the lifeguards said.

The Jellyfish

The species of jellyfish washed ashore is scientifically named “Velella velella.” It is also known for its other nicknames such as “blue sailor,” “purple sailor” and “by-the-wind sailor.”

Strong water currents and heavy winds can wash these colorful jellyfish ashore. However, there is no technique experts can use to predict when these events might happen, says meteorologist Allison Chinchar.

Despite the jellyfish being moved onto the shore, the species actually have bodies designed to sail away from land. The only problem is that the fins of the jellyfish can get caught up in the the very strong winds and eventually carry them onto the shore.

Such incident is rare and it happens approximately every three years only, according to Hallandale lifeguards.

Despite the seeming invasion, experts say this type of jellyfish is not the dangerous kind. In fact, the species is not recognized to sting. Although it possesses small tentacles, it only uses them for catching prey. So all in all, the sea critters are relatively non-hazardous.

Tugging Toxins

One cause for worry, though, is the fact that the Velella often travels with the Portuguese man-of-war jellyfish, which is known to have toxic properties that can cause an excruciating sting.

In the recent incident, the bed of blue sailors may actually contain some man-of-war jellyfish. The lifeguards were already able to note one minor sting within the first three hours of the day the invasion was discovered.

The tractor of the public works beach sector has already scraped a couple. They will persist to wash it up and continue with the cleanup, reminding the public that the process would be gradual.

Public Advice

Although Velella jellyfish are not generally hazardous to beachgoers, authorities still recommend everyone to prevent rubbing the eyes or putting hands or fingers in the mouth if they have touched or made contact with a jellyfish.

Officials also urged the public to share the news to their fellow locals for information and guidance.

Jellyfish South Florida

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