Florida waters are home to many species of jellyfish. The jellyfish population has been affected by pollution, rising water temperatures, drought and water salinity.
Sea nettle jellyfish do sting - even when they are not around. Surf can break off the invisible tentacles leaving them free floating but still able to fire venomous barbs. Sea nettles do not attack human beings. The sting is a part of their natural defense mechanism.
If stung by a sea nettle jellyfish apply alcohol to help stabilize the venomous injection. Vinegar and meat tenderizer works great, too when applied to the sting. Add a small amount of water to the meat tenderizer and make a paste to apply directly on the inflamed area. Meat tenderizer is an enzyme that breaks down proteins. Jellyfish venom is made of protein and is destroyed by meat tenderizer.
Sea nettle jellyfish dangle several tentacles armed with hundreds of venomous barbs.
Sea nettles dangle several tentacles armed with hundreds of venomous barbs that sting like a bee. Sea nettle jellyfish are beautiful and full of grace while swimming. The bell-shaped jellyfish usually have a white hue.
Sea nettle jellyfish tend to mate in summer and during the waning summer months you will see more of them. Good swimmers they swim continuously in search of prey using their tentacles. Sea nettles usually travel in groups so they can be easily spotted from a distance.
Sea nettles have become popular at aquariums and to help educate the public about the various swimming jellyfish that swim our waters. Mote Aquarium in Sarasota is a great place to go view sea nettle jellyfish up close and personal. They have a beautiful tank filled with them. I could sit and watch the jellyfish at Mote for hours.
Merry Beth Ryan, a member of the Florida Outdoor Writers Association, can be reached at www.merrybethryanphotography.com, by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone (941) 544-5023.
As with all marine life take caution when you encounter jellyfish. It is safer to keep your distance from jellyfish if you are not sure whether they can sting you or not. Watch these swimmers from a distance . Better to be safe than sorry.