There may be a lot worse dangers than jellyfish stings.
But they can put a real damper on an otherwise fun day at the beach. And while they usually “just” result in immediate pain and red, irritated marks on the skin, some may trigger more harmful reactions, and whole-body illness. That’s because the long tentacles trailing from the jellyfish body – in the case of the lion’s mane jellyfish, reaching up to 50 feet — can discharge thousands of microscopic barbed stingers that release venom into your skin.
Look, the presence of these sea creatures — believed to be lion’s mane species and confirmed through more sightings both in Manchester and Gloucester and a sting suffered by a 10-year-old on Manchester’s Singing Beach (see news story, Page 1) – should not cause alarm. But it’s important for swimmers and other beachgoers to be aware that these unwelcome visitors are very much in our midst.
To date, neither Manchester nor Gloucester have posted any signs making beachgoers aware of the jellyfish’s arrival. And that may be a good temporary step for both communities to take if sightings and any other reports of stings persist.
But in the meantime, it’s important that all beachgoers heed any lifeguard warnings and be on the lookout for these little stingers that can pack a powerful painful punch.