Rare Jellyfish Sting Swimmers: Giant Black Sea Nettles Invade Southern California Over July Fourth Weekend [VIDEO]

By Staff Reporter on July 9, 2013 5:00 PM EDT

rare jellyfish
Rare jellyfish Black Sea Nettle in San Diego (Photo: Creative Commons)

A rare jelly fish known as the black sea nettle, have invaded the beaches of Southern California during the week of July 4. According to the Orange County Register, swimmers of Thousand Steps Beach in south Laguna Beach have reported stings all over their bodies last week.

Black sea nettle is a giant rare jellyfish that grow bells as wide as a meter across and feature tentacles that stretch 30 feet long. The massive organisms invaded the waters just off the Southern California coast for beach season.

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According to witnesses, many of the jellyfishes were already dead as the currents washed the creatures to shore. However, swimmers found out the hard way that the stingers on the rare jellyfish were still able to sting post-mortem. In fact, some of the swimmers that were stung had dark membranes that clung to their skin. The membranes were from the dead jellyfish that broke up along the surf.

According to Nigela Hillgarth of the Birch Aquarium, the rare jellyfish were only officially identified as the black sea nettle in 1999 due to their exceptionally rare appearances. However, the rare jellyfish are immediately distinguished for their large bells, long tentacles, and particularly potent sting. The black sea nettle has only recently appeared in Southern California recently.

The rare jellyfish were also spoted at Thousand Steps, Table Rock, Diver's Cove and Rockpile beaches in Laguna over the weekend.

To learn more about the mysterious rare jellyfish, be sure to watch the following video:

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