Huge Jellyfish Spotted on SoCal Coast

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    NEWSLETTERS

    David Hall
    Unlike the jellyfish display at the Monterey Bay Aquarium, the churned up specimens in the filters are not a pretty picture.

    Large jellyfish are popping up along San Diego’s shoreline this week.

    Scientists say a rare species of dark purple jellyfish is showing up in San Diego Bay and washing ashore on beaches.

    Dr. Nigella Hillgarth of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography said Tuesday the Birch Aquarium has four of the jellies for display.

    The black sea nettle can grow up to 3 feet across with 30-foot-long tentacles.

    Hillgarth says they sting, so boaters and beachgoers should admire them without touching.

    Hillgarth says the black sea nettle has turned up in coastal waters more frequently in recent years. Oceanographers don't know why, but think it may be due to warmer oceans or changes in the plankton populations the jellyfish eat.

    An NBCSanDiego user captured a few images showing giant jellyfish spotted Sunday afternoon near Shelter Island.

    The woman, a San Diego resident who asked us to identify her as Nancy, spotted the lifeguards Sunday around 1 p.m.

    She was going out with a friend who owns a boat docked near Shelter Island when they spotted the jellyfish that appeared to be three to four feet long.

    Some boat owners who live in the area told her that size was not common and hadn’t really been seen in the area before. “It started coming toward the boat’s vibrations. It was weird,” she said.