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Rare giant jellyfish spotted on a Nerja beach

The specimen found on the Carabeíllo beach.
The specimen found on the Carabeíllo beach. / MILITO
  • The Rhizostoma Luteum species can weigh up to 40 kilos and measure between two and three metres long

Although it has been a very quiet summer in terms of the presence of jellyfish on the Costa del Sol, in recent days bathers from various towns in Malaga province have spotted the presence of some giant specimens.

One was found on Wednesday, 28 July, on the Carabeíllo beach in Nerja and Aula del Mar biologist Jesús Bellido, after viewing images provided by SUR newspaper, confirmed it was a specimen of Rhizostoma Luteum, a species discovered in 1827 and of which there were hardly any records on the coasts of Malaga until less than a decade ago.

"In 2013 they started to appear, with many more in 2019 and 2020, but usually at the end of August. They can weigh up to 40 kilos, although those that have been seen on the coasts of Malaga and Granada have weighed approximately seven kilos", explained Bellido.

Wednesday's sighting on the Nerja beach happened around 1pm generating quite a stir in the area. The lifeguards tried to move it away from the shore without damaging it.

Luis Sánchez Tocino, a marine biologist at the University of Granada, explained to Ideal newspaper that the species can measure between two and three metres. Unlike other jellyfish, they have numerous mouths and feed on plankton.

The sighting of the giant jellyfish generated quite a stir on the Nerja beach.

The sighting of the giant jellyfish generated quite a stir on the Nerja beach. / MILITO

Experts have warned that its tentacles can sting, but less than other smaller species. “Normally the skin only reddens on contact and it is not as painful as other more frequent species and smaller jellyfish that arrive en masse ashore. Even so, it is better to avoid contact”, they have pointed out.

The experts ask bathers that if these large specimens are observed a few metres from the shore, they should not interfere with them and allow them to run their course.