Giant Jellyfish Surfaces on Murcia Beach


Massive Discovery: Rhizostoma luteum on Murcia Beach! Image: Shutterstock/ Luis Maria Valero

BATHERS at Bahía de Mazarrón in Murcia were taken aback when they encountered an enormous jellyfish weighing between 10 and 15 kilos. Identified as a Rhizostoma luteum, this massive marine creature caused quite a stir due to its considerable size and state of decomposition.

Despite their intimidating appearance, Rhizostoma luteum jellyfish are harmless to humans. Named after the Greek words for ‘root’ and ‘mouth,’ these jellyfish possess several creeping tentacles resembling plant roots and a prominent mouth. Measuring up to 60 centimetres in diameter, they are easily visible in the water with their pale blue or white bell covered in white warts, complemented by eight branched pale blue oral tentacles.

Found in the Mediterranean region and the eastern Atlantic from Portugal to Senegal, sightings of Rhizostoma luteum have increased in recent years, possibly linked to changing marine ecosystems or warming waters.

Should you encounter a Rhizostoma luteum and receive a sting, fear not; the consequences are generally mild. Although the sting may cause skin irritation and redness, serious complications are rare. However, some individuals may experience allergic reactions, necessitating medical attention.

While a giant jellyfish may startle beachgoers, learning about these intriguing creatures and how to respond to their presence ensures everyone can enjoy the beach safely.

This summer, the Region of Murcia’s beaches, particularly the Costa Cálida, are experiencing an increase in jellyfish, with the Mar Menor being significantly affected. While dangerous jellyfish species are rare in the region, contact with any jellyfish can lead to painful stings and discomfort. The severity of the reaction varies based on the individual’s sensitivity and the jellyfish species involved.

The Regional Ministry of Health advises against touching jellyfish found on the beaches and offers guidance on managing stings if an accident occurs. Common symptoms of a jellyfish sting include skin stinging, redness, tingling, pain, inflammation, and tentacle marks. Severe cases may result in headaches, digestive issues, or spasms hours after the sting.

Responding promptly and appropriately to jellyfish stings is crucial. Seek medical attention if the symptoms are severe or if there are concerns about the sting’s impact. Avoid rinsing the wound with fresh water, as it can worsen the situation. Instead, use salt water or a saline solution to cleanse the affected area. Carefully remove any remaining tentacle fragments with tweezers.

To prevent stings, pay attention to warning signs or flags indicating jellyfish presence. Stay informed by checking local news or online resources for jellyfish sightings and potential hazards. Avoid touching stranded jellyfish on the shore.

By practicing preventive measures, beachgoers can significantly reduce the risk of encountering jellyfish and getting stung.

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Written by

Catherine McGeer

I am an Irish writer who has been living in Spain for the past twenty years. My writing centers around the Costa Cálida. As a mother I also write about family life on the coast of Spain and every now and then I try to break down the world of Spanish politics!