BREITE, who are enjoying a short break, have been warned of giant stinging jellyfish the size of “dustbin lids” after they washed up on some UK beaches.
The discovery in the Welsh coastal village of Fairbourne, Gwynedd, is the latest in a series of huge jellyfish beaches in the county.
A giant jellyfish, estimated to be a meter in diameter, was carried by the tide to the mouth of the Mawddach Estuary, across the water from Barmouth.
The jellyfish is thought to have been lured ashore by the ‘fish-like’ algal blooms that have been reported off the coasts of Gwynedd and Ceredigion.
Another giant jellyfish was found on Aberdyfl beach in May.
Dozens of smaller specimens have washed up along the Welsh coast as jellyfish season is in full swing.
A social media post by the Fairbourne “monster” got commenters chatting.
One woman said: “Jeeeeeeze how big is that bad boy!!!!”
One man simply wrote, “Jesus Christ!”
Another person added, “My god, that’s huge!”
While a fourth opined, “Oh my gosh, imagine if the kids saw that!”
Across the Estuary from Fairbourne is Barmouth, a popular tourist spot that draws Brits from across the country, particularly the Midlands.
However, the sighting gave cause for concern.
One woman warned: “Don’t dip your toes when you walk.”
While another added: “Oh my god!!! No, that makes me even more nervous.”
Jellyfish infest coastal towns from time to time, although most are small and rarely cause problems.
The jellyfish that washed ashore at Fairbourne was a barrel jellyfish common in the Irish Sea.
They can reach a diameter of up to 40 cm, which is about the size of a garbage can lid, which is why they are also known as garbage can lid jellyfish.
The jellyfish has eight ruffled arms with small piercing tentacles and hundreds of small mouths.
While the barrel jellyfish’s sting is not usually harmful to humans, the Wildlife Trusts advise not handling it if found on the beach, as they can also sting dead.
In deeper water they can grow to 150cm, making them the largest jellyfish in UK waters.
In May and June they move to warmer coastal waters to feed on plankton.
They can then often be washed up on beaches where tides and wave strength are underestimated.
The presence of the jellyfish, in turn, attracts predators such as the leatherback sea turtle, the world’s largest sea turtle.
Occasionally the turtles have also washed up on the west coast of Wales.
In September 1988, the world’s largest leatherback washed ashore in Harlech, Gwynedd.
A local farmer found it and said it was “bigger than a cow and shaped like a VW bug”.
It weighed 914 kilograms (2,016 pounds) and is now on display at Cardiff National Museum.
After Fairbourne’s oversized visitor was found, some people wondered how beach cleaners could get rid of him.
“We need a bigger boat,” said one woman, referring to Steven Spielberg’s Jaws.
The jellyfish is believed to have disappeared with the next high tide.