What's Up With All The 'Unusual' Jellyfish Washing Up On Texas Beaches?

By Dani Medina

March 22, 2023

Photo: Getty Images

South Padre Island has seen an increasing number of unusual species of jellyfish washing ashore — and experts say it's best to avoid them.

The beach in question has seen "large numbers" of Blue Button jellyfish and Portuguese Man of War jellyfish washing ashore, KVEO reports. "It's pain," Cameron County Marine Extension Agent Tony Reisinger told the news outlet. "Yeah, pain and irritation because they have these little cells that have tiny darts in them. When they brush against you, the cell has a trigger, and it shoots a little darts. Thousands of (darts) can go into your skin."

While there's a bit of good news that Blue Buttons don't have a dangerous sting, you're not out of the woods yet. They can still hurt and even cause skin irritation. The Man of War, on the other hand, is known to leave "long, stringy red welts on your skin resulting in burning, swelling and redness that could last minutes or hours," the news outlet reports. The rash can even come and go for up to 6 weeks.

If you come across a dead jellyfish, you're also not in the clear. Some species can even sting after they die.

If you get stung on the beach, here's what happens, per Cameron County Park Ranger Chief Horacio Zamora: "When somebody does get stung by jellyfish, we call our beach rescue. They carry a liquid. It's basically just white vinegar. It alleviates a little bit of the pain."

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