Huge jellyfish spotted on Worthing beach

David Ellis spotted this barrel jellyfish
David Ellis spotted this barrel jellyfish

A HUGE barrel jellyfish has been spotted on Worthing beach – just weeks after hundreds of them were found washed up on Littlehampton’s East Beach.

David Ellis, from Worthing, contacted the Herald after spotting the large creature during a beach outing on Sunday afternoon.

He said he was walking with his family on Worthing beach around 1pm before they came across the over-sized specimen.

“It was was washed up on the beach near the Worthing Lido,” he said.

“It was fairly large and likely got damaged during the storms.

“The longer tentacles were missing but the overall body was intact.”

The jellyfish appears to be around 40cm or so in diameter – and according to the Marine Conservation Society (MCS), some barrel jellyfish can even extend to one metre in diameter.

In August, the MCS, which in 2003 began a survey monitoring jellyfish encounters, declared record numbers of jellyfish sightings for the second year in a row – with barrel jellyfish the most sighted specimens.

An officer from the Sussex Wildlife Trust, responding to the jellyfish which appeared in their hundreds on Littlehampton beach earlier this month, insisted the creatures were ‘harmless’.

Although they normally appear in the summer, their recent unseasonable appearance across Sussex beaches could be caused by warmer than normal temperatures, and storms.

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