Thousands Of Blue Blubber Jellyfish Washed Up On Australian Beach

First Posted: Feb 03, 2017 03:10 AM EST

Thousands of blue blubber jellyfish enveloped the sand of the Queensland Deception Bay in the weekend. A marine biologist said the jellyfish stranded themselves in what she referred as a "bloom."

Dr. Lisa-Ann Gershwin, a marine biologist who specializes in jellyfish, described the sightings as a "wallpaper of jellyfish" and the biggest she had seen in her 25 years of research. "I can honestly say it's the most incredible stranding I've seen anywhere---and I've seen a lot of stranding...just gobsmacking."

Dr. Gershwin explained that jellyfish bloom is part of their life cycle. If the winds blow just right and if the water level falls with the tide, then they get stranded. She added that they see jellyfish bloom, but not like this. She described it again as jaw-dropping.

Meanwhile, Charlotte Lawson took photos of the jellyfish. She did not recognize it at first as jellyfish. On the other hand, when they got closer, they realized it was jellyfish. She said that it was like bubble wrap across the beach. She further said that they had started to smell "pretty rank," attracting complaints from locals.

BBC reports that the incident might be caused by such factors as warmer waters, abundant nutrients and an absence of predators. It could also be triggered by northerly winds and tide conditions, according to Dr. Gershwin. She expected that the jellyfish will dry out on the sand and be eaten by birds and turtles.

The blue blubber jellyfish or also known as jelly blubber is commonly found along the Australian eastern coast. It could grow to about 30 to 45 cm (12 to 18 inches). Its large bell is usually blue in northern Australia. Meanwhile, in Sydney waters, its large bell is a creamy white or brown color.

The jelly blubber has no mouth on the underside. The food passes through small openings on each arm then to the stomach. Its tentacles have stinging cells that could grab small crustaceans and plankton. On the other hand, the sting could be painful, yet it is not a serious risk to humans.

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