Known since the 19th century
Giant jellyfish are increasingly approaching the beaches of Mallorca. Experts are not surprised by this behavior. But the animals pose a danger.
Munich – Surprise animal visit to Mallorca: Giant jellyfish have recently been spotted in large numbers off the coasts of the Germans’ favorite holiday island. The genus with the Latin name Rhizostoma Luteum assumes impressive proportions. According to the “Sea Water Lexicon”, the animals can weigh up to 40 kilograms and reach a size of 70 to 90 centimeters.
Not without. And so the sight should not only be spectacular for children when a giant jellyfish suddenly appears in the water next to them. Some eyewitnesses filmed or photographed their discoveries directly in order to disseminate the footage. Both the Mallorca Newspaper as well as that Mallorca Magazine already reported on these sightings. For example on the beaches of Cala Egos or Cala Blava, the Bay of Palma or Es Trenc Beach.
Giant jellyfish off Mallorca: “They have stinging tentacles and shouldn’t be touched”
The only question that arises is: do these jellyfish pose a threat? After all, all jellyfish are said to be poisonous, but not all of them are also dangerous for humans. Prof. Dr. Inna Sokolova from the Institute for Biosciences Marine Biology at the University of Rostock explains in Travelbook on this: “Rhizostoma Luteum and its relative Rhizostoma Pulmo, which can also be found in the Atlantic and the Mediterranean off the Iberian Peninsula, have stinging tentacles and should not be touched.”
Although the animals are not fatal for humans, pain, irritation or allergic reactions could well be the result of contact. “The skin irritation can last a few hours to a few days,” warns the expert. It can also explain why encounters near the coast have recently increased. The overfishing of the oceans means that there are fewer and fewer natural enemies of the giant jellyfish, which feed on fish eggs, zooplankton and saltwater fleas, among other things.
Giant jellyfish off Mallorca: Mainly widespread in the Mediterranean – hardly explored yet
Rhizostoma luteum is particularly widespread in the Mediterranean, thus also around the Balearic Islands, but also off Spain and Portugal, as well as in the Strait of Gibraltar, off Angola, West Africa and in the East and South Atlantic. Overall, however, the species is rather rare, according to Antoni Grau, Director General for Fisheries and the Marine Environment Mallorca Magazine explained.
The first discovery is said to have been made in 1837 in the Strait of Gibraltar. The sightings have only been increasing since 2013. The marine animals are still little explored, said Grau. That could possibly change soon. (mg)
List of rubric lists: © Clara Margais / dpa