Unusual blue jellyfish washes up on Lancing beach

Watch out for Bluefire jellyfish in Shoreham
Watch out for Bluefire jellyfish in Shoreham

A DOG walker who went for a stroll on Lancing beach discovered some unusual jellyfish floating in the shallows on Thursday evening.

Carol Thompson, of Lancing, spotted a couple of the indigo-coloured jellyfish while paddling in the sea with her dog at around 6.30pm.

She said: “I found this on the sand after coming out of the water to be on the safe side.

“I’m no expert but think this may be a jellyfish commonly known as a ‘Bluefire’, so-called because of its colour and its sting.”

The Herald contacted Steve Savage, regional co-ordinator at the Seawatch Foundation who agreed with Carol that it was a Bluefire.

Steve said it was hard to tell if the jellyfish was dead or alive, but warned: “Even a dead jellyfish can sting as the triggering of the stinging cells is a reflex.”

“I don’t think the sting is serious, possibly as painful as a wasp sting.”

Steve said he had never seen one before, but had heard reports of them being washed up on the east and west coasts.

The Bluefire jellyfish, Cyanea lamarcki, is usually found off the coast of Scotland, in the North Sea and in the Irish Sea, and measure 10 to 20 cm across.