COUNTY NEWS: Large jellyfish washed ashore

David Ellis spotted this barrel jellyfish
David Ellis spotted this barrel jellyfish
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This large barrel jellyfish was washed up on a Sussex beach shortly before the stormy weather hit.

It was spotted on Worthing’s beach by David Ellis, who lives in the town, just weeks after hundreds of jellyfish were washed up on nearby Littlehampton beach.

Mr Ellis was walking with his family at about 1pm on Sunday when they came across the creature. He said: “It was fairly large and likely got damaged during the storms. The longer tentacles were missing but the overall body was intact.”

The jellyfish appears to be around 40cm or so in diameter, According to the Marine Conservation Society, some barrel jellyfish can grow to more than double that.

Last August, the society, which in 2003 began a survey monitoring jellyfish encounters, declared record numbers of jellyfish sightings for the second year in a row – with barrel jellyfish the most sighted specimens. An officer from the Sussex Wildlife Trust, responding to the jellyfish which appeared in their hundreds on Littlehampton beach earlier this month, insisted the creatures were ‘harmless’. Although they normally appear in the summer, their recent unseasonable appearance across Sussex beaches could be caused by warmer than normal temperatures, and storms.

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