The Jellyfish Are Coming! Beaches In Spain Closed Due to Invasion
August 2, 2010
Spain (ChattahBox) – While it might not seem like a horror story fitting JAWS, officials are worried about a possible invasion of jellyfish that could surpass the record numbers seen in 2008, which led to 4,000 stings treated in the region of Costa Blanca.
Last week, 50 people were treated by Red Cross volunteers on a Denia beach, all of the stings occurring within a half hour period. It is part of a wider problem cause by Global Warming, which has seen a migration of the creatures to coastal shores, and caused a dramatic increase in numbers due to a decrease in natural predators.
So far, the biggest problems have been detected in Mauve Stingers, which are the type currently swarming Spain’s beaches. But Box Jellyfish have also been increasing in numbers.
“We are surprised by the sudden explosive growth in numbers of this species. They are concentrated in areas of lower salinity, such as is found off Denia, where freshwater flows into the sea,” Just Bayle of the University of Alicante told the Telegraph.
A sting from the Mauve Stinger is rarely fatal, usually just causing pain. But for some, there can be a severe allergic reaction that may lead to heart failure.
Boats are patrolling the coast, and raise red flags when a high number of the jellyfish are detected, to warn tourists and locals to immediately leave the water.