Toxic blue jellyfish found floating on Austalian beaches

Published: Wednesday 28 February 2007

-- (Credit: B G CURLEY)Australian sea beaches have turned blue with huge armadas of toxic bluebottle jellyfish floating ashore. These tiny invertebrates are, however, posing a sting threat to beachgoers and thereby affecting the country's tourism industry in this peak season.

Only in one weekend, more than 1,200 beachgoers have reported jellyfish stings, many requiring hospitalisation, according to Surf Life Saving, a lifeguard group in Australia. The jellyfish are invading Queensland's Gold Coast tourist beaches since early January. With a bright blue translucent body, it measures 10-15 cm and has a long stinging tentacle. At least 30,000 beachgoers suffered from jellyfish stings on the country's east coast in 2006, double the number than the previous year. Though their current influx is due to wind shift that is pushing them ashore, jellyfish experts say their number is growing every year due to global warming.

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