June 10, 2016
A potentially dangerous type of jellyfish typically found in the Pacific Ocean has reportedly been spotted in the waters at the Jersey Shore.
According to NJ.com, a fisherman at Barnegat Bay just south of Point Pleasant Inlet caught what appears to be a "clinging jellyfish," which has the potential to send a person who is stung to the hospital and, in the worst-case scenario, can cause kidney failure.
As its name implies, these coin-sized jellies trail “a skirt of 60 to 90 glass-like tentacles that uncoil sharp threads and emit painful neurotoxins," according to a report by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute. One of the Institute's researchers was stung in the face by a clinging jellyfish on Martha’s Vineyard in July 2013.
The sting felt like “hypodermic needles,” the researcher reported.
“Multiple stings from clinging jellyfish can cause acute respiratory problems, joint pains, and acute dermatitis that can take days to heal,” the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute notes.
Prior to the most recent reported spotting at the Jersey Shore, clinging jellyfish have, in recent years, also been seen in New Hampshire and New York waters.
Marine biologists at Montclair State University are reportedly testing local fisherman Josh Hart's discovery in the Barnegat Bay to confirm it's a clinging jellyfish.
Read more at NJ.com.