Rare Lion’s Mane Jellyfish Spotted in Cork’s Lower Harbour
A rare sighting of a Lion’s Mane Jellyfish has been confirmed in the lower harbour in Cork, a sighting that should raise awareness among the public and anyone planning to visit the beach or venture into the waters around our coast. The Lion’s Mane is known to be the most dangerous jellyfish species that can appear in Irish waters, and swimmers and beachgoers should exercise caution. The sighting was made by Yvonne Kelly, a local woman from Passage West, who captured the distinctive creature on her camera phone. The jellyfish, with its vibrant orange and red coloration and long, bright red and orange tentacles, was seen floating in the water. Yvonne recorded a video and took a picture, which she then reported to the National Biodiversity Data Centre and The Big Jellyfish Hunt Facebook Page. Experts confirmed that it was indeed a Lion’s Mane Jellyfish.
The Lion’s Mane Jellyfish is considered the most dangerous species of jellyfish in Irish waters, and the recent increase in sightings along the west and southwest coasts may be attributed to higher than normal water temperatures. A sting from a Lion’s Mane can cause symptoms such as nausea, sweating, and cramping. Their tentacles can reach up to two meters in length and can still sting even if detached from the jellyfish. Typically, these jellyfish are observed from May to October, and their numbers may be on the rise. In 2019, a beach in Donegal had to be temporarily closed due to several sightings of Lion’s Mane Jellyfish, prompting warnings to the public to exercise caution when swimming near areas where sightings have been reported.
During the recent hot spell at the beginning of this month, a meteorologist from Met Éireann, Dr Noel Fitzpatrick, raised the alarm after encountering a Lion’s Mane Jellyfish on a beach in Sligo. He shared his discovery on social media, urging people to be aware of these creatures. Alan O’Reilly from Carlow Weather also echoed the appeal, tweeting, “Watch out for these bad boys in the water during the fine spell!” If you come across a Lion’s Mane Jellyfish in the water or on the beach, the advice is simple: keep a safe distance and ensure that your dog stays away as well.
The presence of a Lion’s Mane Jellyfish in Irish waters is a rare occurrence, but it serves as a reminder that we must always be vigilant when enjoying our beautiful coastlines. By staying informed and following expert advice, we can ensure our safety and continue to appreciate the wonders of our marine environment.