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Hundreds of jellyfish-like organisms washing up on nearby beaches

Posted at 3:31 PM, May 01, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-01 19:31:29-04


Hundreds of jellyfish-like creatures are washing up on our beaches. If you spot them, the best rule of thumb is to look but don’t touch, because a jellyfish sting can be extremely painful.

These luminescent living balloons are being spotted on Padre Island National Sea Shore and near Bob Hall Pier.

“There were like hundreds of them and they were just scattered all on the beach, and some of them were floating in the water,” said Julia Rundle, a Padre Island National Seashore visitor.

These types of organisms often wash up on nearby beaches around this time of year, but especially when strong winds come through the area.

“It looks a bit like a blue balloon when it first comes in,” said William “Buzz” Botts, the education coordinator at PINS. “All of them fade over time in the sun and get lighter in color.”

They began washing up about a week ago, and there are three different kinds: by-the-wind sailors, blue buttons and Portuguese men-o-war. The men-o-war are the only ones that can be extremely painful if you’re stung.

“You don’t want to touch the wrong one,” said Botts. “Even adults can be in some pretty serious pain if they’ve been entangled in one.”

That’s why Botts and Julia’s mom are on full alert.

“I asked them (the kids) not to touch it because it kind of had a jellyfish look,” said Cheryl Rundle, Julia’s mom.

There’s no word on how long we can expect these creatures to wash up on our beaches. But if you do get stung, treat it with vinegar, a meat tenderizer or hot water.