Thousands of Atlantic sea nettle jellyfish are observed on the Rhode Island shore.
These jellyfish love warmer waters, so it might come as a surprise as to why they chose Rhode Island. Although Rhode Island is famous for its beaches, it’s not exactly renowned for the warm water.
However, this June was the hottest June recorded in North America. One of the main factors for this temperature rise is undoubtedly global warming. In fact, since the end of the 19th century, the Earth’s temperature has increased by around 1.62°F.
The rise in the Atlantic sea nettle jellyfish population is almost always due to hot and dry weather.
There is also a factor of overfishing. Overfishing is terrible for all sea fish, such as sharks, as between 63 and 273 million sharks get killed every year. But, when there aren’t enough predators, jellyfish flourish.
Also, the drainage water that generally pollutes the sea leads to the blooming of zooplankton, jellyfish food.
So, with the higher pollution and overfishing, jellyfish are actually having the time of their lives.
The warmer water and other factors may partially explain why they’re there and why there are so many of them. Still, not even scientists understand what provoked the population numbers so much.
Human influence on the number is possible, but more research needs to be done.
Now that we can somewhat understand how they got there, a warning is due.
The abnormally large number of Atlantic sea nettle jellyfish was recorded in both Ninigret Pond and Green Hill Pond.
So, if you find yourself there, beware because these jellyfish sting. If possible, you should try to avoid these places, because there is a high chance you will be stung.
The stings are not fatal, but they can result in hives that can be pretty itchy.
Moreover, although jellyfish allergy is not as common as dog and cat allergies, which make up ⅓ of all allergies in America, it’s not highly uncommon either.
However, there are some things you can do if you get stung by one of these jellyfish:
- You should check whether there’s any part of the tentacle left — and remove it if it is.
- Clean the sting with vinegar or seawater (not fresh water!).
- Heat the sting with hot water or a hot pack.
- Put an ice pack and apply some hydrocortisone cream to help the inflammation go away.
- Consult a doctor if anything seems suspicious or if you still feel the symptoms.
So, if you wanted to go to either of the mentioned locations, you might want to reconsider. If you are unable to skip, be very careful when in the water.