Toxic giant 5ft jellyfish washes up on Anglesey beach

A giant jellyfish was found washed up on Anglesey.

The stinging lion’s mane jellyfish, measuring around 5ft across, was spotted by Tim Davies during a fishing trip to Llandona beach.

The Ruthin angler said: “It was between four and a half to five foot in diameter, I was amazed by it.

“It looked like it had just been dropped there.

“I’ve seen them here in the past but this is the first I’ve seen this year.

“I often see strange sea creatures because I go fishing along the coast somewhere every week.”

Lion’s mane is the largest jellyfish species and is known for its toxic sting, which can cause muscle paralysis in severe cases.

It is not unusual for the reddish orange creatures to be spotted along the North Wales coast – and they can seen from the Menai Bridge or Bangor Pier during the summer.

Frankie Hobro, director and owner of Anglesey Sea Zoo, said the species frequently “grow to the size of a dustbin lid or larger” – and are a staple food for the native Leatherback turtles.

“The Lion’s mane jellyfish reaches 2m in diameter and gives a very nasty sting”, she said.

A Lion’s Mane jellyfish said to be around five foot in diameter was spotted by Tim Davies who was out fishing on Llandona beach
A Lion’s Mane jellyfish said to be around five foot in diameter was spotted by Tim Davies who was out fishing on Llandona beach

“Many people (unfortunately) will say their biggest fear of the ocean is sharks, but there is no doubt that jellyfish come in as a close second.

“However, like sharks these animals demand enormous respect.

“Many jellyfish are difficult to identify at a glance in the water and particularly once washed up on the beach.

“With so many benign species being easily mistaken for the more nasty ones, and vice versa, the golden rule is always look but don’t touch and whilst in the water keep your distance – the tentacles often drift a long way behind the main body of the animal, which is what makes them such effective predators.”

Marine conservationist Frankie Hobro runs Anglesey Sea Zoo
Marine conservationist Frankie Hobro runs Anglesey Sea Zoo

If stung, Frankie said the best thing to do is to “douse the whole area thoroughly with vinegar” as it immediately disables the stinging cells.

“Contrary to popular belief, peeing on it is unlikely to give any relief, and may even make it worse,” she added.

“A better alternative is to rinse with sea water until all pieces of the tentacles have been removed from the skin, as they can continue to sting long after they are separated from the body of the animal.

“Of course if in any doubt or with any serious encounters, seek professional medical assistance immediately.”

Mr Davies spotted the jellyfish on Saturday morning and said it appeared to have been dead for a few hours.

However, jellyfish can remain alive for several hours after being washed ashore and can still sting.

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