Warning as ‘gentle giant’ barrel jellyfish return to beaches

A barrell jellyfish washed up
A barrell jellyfish washed up
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More giant jellyfish have been found washed up on the shoreline.

This time the extra large sized barrel jellyfish have been spotted in Knott End.

These are the largest jellyfish in UK waters

These enormous creatures can grow up to 90cm across, weigh as much as an average 11-year-old child and are washing up on our shores in droves.

But don’t worry – they won’t hurt you... much.

They were first spotted on the south coast, but the warmer weather has brought them further north.

Anyone who spots one on the beach is warned not to touch it but the jellyfish are not considered dangerous to humans.

The creatures – the largest jellyfish found in this country – have a weak sting that experts say is similar to that of a nettle.

Dave Crossman, who snapped these two specimens at Knott End, said: “I didn’t think our sea could get any scarier, but then I came across this monster. I just hope dog walkers manage to spot this before their dogs go running over for a sniff.”

Ken Harcombe, of the Rossall Point watch tower, which looks our over the sands, said they have been getting reports of jellyfish in the area.”

In recent weeks, swarms of the creatures have been reported off the South coast but now they are being spotted up North too.

The route to the Wyre Light in recent days has been littered with dozens of jellyfish, including a handful of “massive” barrel jellyfish.

A fortnight ago Fleetwood Coastguard posted some pictures of them on Facebook, warning people to “be careful”.

The post read: “These are the largest jellyfish in UK waters.

“Be careful if you’re out on the beach.”

According to Buglife, a charity dedicated to the conservation of invertebrates, they are “gentle giants”.

Its website adds: “Several jellyfish visit UK waters. The Barrel jellyfish is our largest, with a diameter of up to 90cm and weights of up to 35kg.

“In summer and autumn they may swarm off the coast, sometimes washing up in large numbers. These giant jellyfish swarms cause quite a stir. However they are gentle giants.

“Barrel jellyfish feed entirely on tiny plankton, so their sting is too weak to hurt humans.”