Hundreds of jellyfish wash up on Devon beach

Hundreds of jellyfish have washed up on a popular beach in North Devon.

The jellies were spotted on Woolacombe beach on 2 July.

Resident Richard Walden, who discovered the creatures, shared pictures of them on social media.

The jellyfish are believed to be moon jellyfish, which are fairly common in UK waters. Credit: @Ricoblue2 / Twitter

They are believed to be moon jellyfish, which are fairly common in UK waters and relatively harmless.

While there are more than 200 species of jellyfish, just six of them are routinely found in UK waters - but all of them can sting.

These are the six most common types of jellyfish found in UK waters, according to The Marine Biological Association (MBA):

  • Moon jellyfish (Aurelia aurita) – it has four white rings. The stings are not powerful enough to penetrate human skin.

  • Compass jellyfish (Chrysaora hysoscella) – this one has dark compass markings and its sting is like that of nettles.

  • Lion’s mane jellyfish (Cyanea capillata) – the second-longest recorded animal in the world, it has red and orange tentacles. Its sting causes temporary pain and redness and medical attention is recommended because of the number of stings. The tentacles can be broken into small pieces by storms.

  • Dustbin-lid jellyfish (Rhizostoma pulmo) – this can grow up to 90cm across but it has a weak sting. They have been seen in large numbers in our harbours.

  • Blue jellyfish (Cyanea lamarckii) – bright blue and with a sting similar to brushing against nettles.

  • Mauve stinger (Pelagia noctiluca) – purple and glowing, these have a highly-irritating sting which produces a burning sensation leading to hives, blisters and scabs as well as nausea and other symptoms.

If you spot a jellyfish washed up on the beach, the advice is to avoid them - do not touch or walk on them, and do not let dogs eat them.

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