Barrel jellyfish pop up onto the beach

One of the jellyfish on Hayling beach
One of the jellyfish on Hayling beach

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MORE jellyfish have washed up on the shore as this autumn proves a bumper one for them.

Fisherman Ian Stoner spotted this group washed up on Hayling Beach earlier this week.

They are barrel jellyfish – the same as a giant jellyfish washed up at Priddy’s Hard, Gosport, a few days ago.

Lindsay Holloway, the general manager of Southsea’s Blue Reef Aquarium, said: ‘It is unusual to see them this close to the shore.

‘They’re normally in the ocean a few miles off shore.

‘The sea has been relatively calm for quite a long time.

‘Sometimes we see them in strong weather or currents.

‘Because we are having a fair bit of nice weather at the moment they might be following food and a few of them have gone off course.’

Barrel jellyfish are one of the largest of the species and are powerful swimmers.

They are not actually fish at all but belong to a group of animals called cnidaira.

Mr Holloway added: ‘They are quite a diverse, and ancient, group of animals.

‘Finding a jellyfish fossil is incredibly rare. They were among the first complex animals in the ocean.’

The jellyfish do not pose a threat to humans.

Louise MacCallum, environment officer at Langstone Harbour Board, said she is excited about the jellyfish washing up on shore.

‘This summer has been a bumper one for jellyfish’, she said.

‘There have been lots of sightings along the south coast, and this is not the first of this species to wash up on Hayling Beach this year. Really amazing if, like me, you like jellyfish.’