Sting from dangerous jellyfish sends Middletown man to hospital
Another encounter with the dangerous clinging jellyfish sent a Middletown man to the hospital.
The Monmouth Beach Office of Emergency Management warned on its Facebook page that the man was stung by the tiny creature while swimming in the Shrewsbury River. It's the latest sighting of the jellyfish species that is native to the West Coast but has been spotted over the past several years on the East Coast, most recently in Barnegat Bay and Long Island Sound.
Matt Carlo told NBC 4 New York it felt like "every single muscle in my body had a Charlie horse in it" after he was stung by what he believes to be a clinging jellyfish on Saturday in Monmouth Beach.
Paul Bologna, the director of Marine Biology and Coastal Sciences at Montclair State University, told the station that he has DNA confirmation that the jellyfish found last week in Barnegat Bay was a clinging jellyfish.
Bologna, who also talked to Carlo, said the young man went to the hospital twice after the pain intensified.
"We hope to be able to do more sampling, but we also are grateful when the public spots them and alerts us to their presence. We like it even better if they can collect them safely which allows us to examine and document them," he said.
Bologna said considering it's the first time the clinging jellyfish has been seen in New Jersey, they could be in other places along the shore but in areas with specific conditions they prefer.
"In terms of what they like, these jellyfish 'cling' to seagrass and algae on the bottom. We have lots of sea lettuce (algae) throughout the coast, and seagrasses like eelgrass are abundant in Barnegat Bay. The other important part of their preference is for waters that are calmer, such as the back bays like Barnegat Bay, or in protected estuaries like Navesink/Shrewbury."
"They are unlikely to be on the open coastal beaches, because the surf and waves pounding would more or less destroy them. As such, if you are headed to the ocean beaches, you are not likely to encounter these little guys," Bologna said.
Scientific American reported that the clinging jellyfish has 60 to 90 tentacles each with a pad that has an adhesive that allows it to cling to most any surface.
— Brian Thompson (@brian4NY) June 15, 2016