Jellyfish closer to shores - Fox29 WFLX TV, West Palm Beach, FL-news & weather

Jellyfish closer to shores

picture by AP GRAPHICSBANK picture by AP GRAPHICSBANK

DELRAY BEACH, Fla.- - There's a growing number of jellyfish along our shorelines.

Some local beachgoers were cautious on Delray Beach. "You have to always be looking around," said Victoria Gebhard, of Boca Raton. "Is there a jellyfish here, there?"

Staying mostly on the sand.

"It's rough when you come to the beach, relax, enjoy yourself, then you gotta worry about jellyfish," said Victoria's father, Keith Gebhard.

Right now, jellyfish are hanging out on South Florida's shores. There are a lot of them. And with them, comes red caution flags.

"Same thing as if you ate a peanut and were allergic," explained jellyfish scientist Evan Orellana, the director of education at the Sandoway House. "it can cause a short of breath. It can cause erratic heartbeat, paralysis."

They're called moon jellies and they have what look like a four leaf clover in the middle of them. Some can grow to as big as a basketball.

We're seeing more of them because of warmer waters, algae blooms from runoff and the windy conditions.

"As they're going north with the Gulf Stream current, the waves are pushing them in so they're going to congregate more on shore," explained Orellana.

And touching them can be painful. A Palm Beach surfer sent pictures of welts on his arms and stomach. Rashes can last up to two weeks. 

Experts say if you're stung, remove any tentacles immediately. If you can't get to a drugstore, home remedies include dabbing the area with white distilled vinegar or smearing mustard on the rash. 

There have also been reports of large clusters of jellyfish in the lagoon between Harbor Branch Channel and the Fort Pierce Inlet. 

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