By Anna Ellis •
Published: 05 Feb 2024 • 9:23
Purple invasion: Alicante coastline jellyfish spectacle. Image: Gestiafoto / Shutterstock.com
The first weekend of February has witnessed a peculiar sight along the Alicante coast, an invasion of jellyfish.
While not the most pleasant, it’s a completely normal natural occurrence tied to the biological cycle of this species, happening almost every year.
This eye-catching phenomenon hitting the city’s sandy beach is due to the jellyfish’s tendency to travel in large groups, present in the open sea throughout the year, with a noticeable increase during reproductive peaks like this year.
While their presence in open waters is normal across all seasons, their appearance on the Spanish coasts at this time depends on weather conditions.
Storms and sea currents are the culprits leading these jellyfish groups to wash ashore, leaving the beach covered.
This particular jellyfish species is a vivid pinkish-violet colour reaching up to 20 cm in diameter.
Adults live over two years and reproduce in both spring and autumn.
Known for rapid growth, juveniles can double their mass in just 24 hours.
Named Noctiluca for its ability to glow in the dark, this species produces a short luminescence when excited, leaving a fading trail behind.
Despite their current invasion, it’s the most common species in the area.
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Originally from Derbyshire, Anna has lived in the middle of nowhere on the Costa Blanca for 19 years. She is passionate about her animal family including four dogs and four horses, musicals and cooking.
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