Massive Jellyfish Astonishes Tourists In Balearic Islands

Enormous Jellyfish in Ibiza

Tourists weren't phased by the monster jellyfish. Credit: Sup Ibiza/Facebook

A remarkable and unexpected sight greeted a group of adventurous tourists during a snorkelling expedition in Ibiza.

On Saturday, August 12, a fascinating spectacle unfolded as a colossal jellyfish, weighing approximately 40 kilogrammes, made an appearance, leaving the tourists in awe.

The unique encounter was chronicled by Sup Ibiza, a company specialising in paddle surfing excursions enriched with activities like snorkelling.

In their decade-long history of organising such outings, they confessed to never having encountered this particular type of jellyfish during this time of the year.

The distinctive creature, identified as an ‘aguamala,’ scientifically known as ‘Rhizostoma pulmo,’ belongs to the family of the largest jellyfish species in the Mediterranean. The mesmerising encounter transpired near the picturesque Cala Tarida.

Guided by an experienced instructor, the group was able to closely observe and capture images of the jellyfish.

A man diving near a large jellyfish
Snorkellers went for a closer look. Credit: Sup Ibiza

Unlike other stinging sea creatures, the ‘aguamala‘ possesses a sting that poses no severe threat to humans.

This intriguing encounter left everyone astounded, and the participants were fortunate to witness this rarity.

Traditionally, the months of September and October have witnessed these enigmatic jellyfish making their appearance along the Ibiza coastline.

Known for their substantial size, ‘aguamalas’ can attain diameters of up to 70 centimetres and weigh between 20 to 40 kilogrammes.

While they typically exhibit hues of white or bluish, variations in colour such as red, brown, or grey are also possible.

A defining feature of the ‘aguamala’ is its eight frilly arms adorned with numerous small stinging tentacles, surrounding a multitude of tiny mouths.

Despite their intimidating appearance, these jellyfish are not harmful to humans, with their sting posing little risk.

Nonetheless, caution is advised when encountering them, even on the beach, as they can retain their stinging capability even after death.

This exceptional sighting serves as a testament to the wonders of the natural world, reminding us of the mysteries that lie beneath the ocean’s surface.

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Written by

Jo Pugh

Jo Pugh is a journalist based in the Costa Blanca North. Originally from London, she has been involved in journalism and photography for 20 years. She has lived in Spain for 12 years, and is a dedicated and passionate writer.