It's not uncommon to see jellyfish washing up on the beaches of Australia. But this week, a particularly surprising sight greeted visitors who came to Deception Bay in Queensland.
BBC reports that the thousands of blue blubber jellyfish that washed up on shore was considered surprising, as it is uncommon for that many to be seen washed up on shore. Charlotte Lawson, who took photos of the phenomenon, thought that the jellyfish looked like bubble wrap. It looked like every inch of sand was covered by the creatures, which had begun to rot and already causing residents to complain of the smell to officials.
Dr. Lisa-Anne Gershwin, a marine biologist specializing in jellyfish, said that this year's jellyfish bloom is jaw-dropping and the biggest number she has ever encountered in her 25 years of studying the animal. A number of factors contribute to a jellyfish bloom, such as ocean currents, the season and oxygen concentrations. Gershwin states that the warm waters and absence of predators could have been the reason for the number of jellyfish that were stranded this time.
Telegraph UK reports that the blue blubber jellyfish is not dangerous to humans, but it can sting. Surf Life Saving Queensland said that from December 1 to January 31, more than 22,000 beachgoers have been stung by the blue bottle jellyfish, also known as Portuguese man o' war. This particularl type of jellyfish is more dangerous than the blue blubber, with some stings even proving to be fatal to whoever got it.
It's not just humans who are victimized by the species as there are reports that there are even dogs who had to be treated after being stung by the blue bottle jellyfish. Apparently, the jellyfish look appetizing to some dogs who ate them, only to suffer a painful experience after doing so.
While jellyfish stings are painful, it can be easy to treat. Some first aid taking a hot shower for at least 20 minutes or rinsing the affected area with vinegar for 30 seconds.