Rare jellyfish may have made Laguna Beach debut

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Associated Press

Posted on July 9, 2013 at 2:00 PM

Updated Tuesday, Jul 9 at 2:00 PM

LAGUNA BEACH, Calif. (AP) — A rare jellyfish might have made a stinging debut at a Southern California beach.

The Orange County Register (http://bit.ly/13zfYFb ) reports some people suffered stings all over their bodies last week at Thousand Steps Beach in south Laguna Beach.

Some Fourth of July swimmers came ashore with dark membranes clinging to their bodies as the jellyfish broke up in the surf.

From the color, the jellyfish might be rare black jellies.

Nigela Hillgarth of Birch Aquarium says the species was only identified in 1999 and it has only recently appeared in Southern California.

Black jelly tentacles can grow to 30 feet long. Hillgarth says warmer ocean temperatures may have brought the jellyfish closer to shore in search of prey where they were caught by the current and thrown ashore.

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Information from: The Orange County Register, http://www.ocregister.com

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