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Attack of the (dead) Jellyfish

Submitted by admin on 2010-07-30

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The lion's mane jellyfish is well named, not only do the long orange tentacles resemble that of a lions mane, but the lion's mane jellyfish too should be avoided in the wild. The lion's mane jellyfish is the largest known jellyfish in the world with a diameter of up to 2 meters and tentacles which can exceed 100 feet.

Last week in the town of Rye, New Hampshire there was a large, dead lion's mane jellyfish present in the waters of the state park. Due to the fact that the jellyfish can cause quite bad pain when one is stung, a lifeguard of the state park attempted to remove the jellyfish from the water while in a boat, in an attempt to make the waters safer for the hundreds of swimmers present, though this failed.

During the recovery attempt, the jellyfish began to break up into hundreds of pieces. While the jellyfish itself was dead, the tentacles retained the ability to sting. What began as an attempt to create a safer swimming place soon had very much of the opposite effect, Thousands of pieces of the jellyfish began to spread throughout the water, often in pieces too small to see in the water without close inspection, this lead to the stinging of dozens of swimmers. Reports on the exact amount of swimmers who suffered being stung differ between sources, ranging from 50 to 200 people.

Luckily for the swimmers, the lion's mane jellyfish is not deadly, though can produce a very painful sting. According to reports there were 9 children who were stung by the jellyfish, who were treated in hospital. This specific lion's mane jellyfish weight around 50 pounds and had tentacles in excess of 10 feet long.

The incident caused the beach to be closed for the remainder of the day. According to the park manager this was a once off occurrence and he had never before seen one of these jellyfish wash up so close to the shore.

The lion's mane jellyfish tends to remain in fairly deep waters out at sea and isn't known to often approach the shore lines.

Many people underestimate the dangers of jellyfish, and luckily for these people the jellyfish in question was not as dangerous as the box jellyfish, a native north Australian jellyfish which is one of the most dangerous creatures in the sea.


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