Massive Stinging Jellyfish are Washing Ashore on Maine’s Beaches
It isn't overly uncommon to see jellyfish in the sand while walking on Maine beaches. For instance, one of the most common jellyfish in our area are Moon jellyfish. However, even Moon jellies are significantly smaller than what's being found now.
According to the Portland Press Herald, multiple Lion's Mane jellyfish have been found around the coast in the last several months. Now, to be fair, there have been Lion's Mane jellies seen in Maine sand before, though not this frequently and definitely not this large.
Lion's Mane jellyfish are the largest species of jellies in the world. They're called Lion's Mane because as their bodies and tentacles grow, they resemble the mane of a lion waving in the water. Though not considered a danger to humans, their tentacles can grow to more than 100 feet in length. They use these massive tentacles to fend off predators and also to temporarily stun their food, such as crustaceans, before they eat.
Some of the recent Lion's Mane jellyfish found in Maine have had bodies that span six feet wide. That's huge! They tend to be purple, yellow and red in color and will stick out like a sore thumb against the typically brown Maine sand.
The most recent sightings have been in Down East Maine, Casco Bay and Ferry Beach State Park in Saco. Anyone who thinks they have spotted one of these massive creatures is asked to file a report with the Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences. You can access that form by clicking here.