Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Types of Jellyfish on the Alabama Gulf Coast

There are several types of jellyfish on the Alabama Gulf Coast. Jellyfish can be problematic creatures. A jellyfish sting can not only be painful but dangerous for the person that is allergic to them.

  Moon Jelly

The moon jelly is one of the most commonly found jellyfish in the area. The bell can be anywhere from three to twenty inches in diameter. It is often clear or has a slight whitish hue to it. A cloverleaf pattern can be observed on the bell. The cloverleaf is either orange or pink in color. The tentacles are short and almost give the appearance of a curtain. The sting of a moon jelly is a mild one.

  Stinging Nettle

The bell of the stinging nettle is between one inch and one foot in diameter. It is nearly transparent and has small whitish spots. Commonly, there are also red or brown colored stripes on the bell. It has very long tentacles. Those that have been stung by stinging nettles assert that it is very painful.

Big Pink Jelly

The big pink jelly is certainly one of the strangest looking jellies in the area. The entire creature is the color of Pepto-Bismol! This thing is seriously pink. The bell is smooth and flat with curved edges. The bell can be anywhere from four inches to three feet in diameter. The tentacles are super long. Some people claim that they had no reaction to the sting whatsoever while others state that the sting is very painful.

Portuguese Man of War

The Portuguese Man of War is a dangerous jelly. The sting is incredibly painful and can be life threatening if allergic. The size of the bell varies from two inches to fifteen inches. The bell is filled with gas and it is blue or purple. The tentacles are long and either red or purple in color. They are often spotted floating on the surface of the water.

Jellyfish Sting First Aid

It is definitely wise to stay alert when in the water. Keeping watch for jellies will certainly help prevent you from getting an unwanted and uncomfortable sting. Pay attention to the color of the flag on the beach. Never go in the water if the flag being displayed is red or purple. Those colors warn you that there are dangerous conditions in the water. Heed the warning and stay safe!

There are some products available that claim to keep jellyfish away. The manufacturers state that they work just like OFF! works on mosquitoes. These products can be purchased on the Internet.

It is always best to be prepared when you go to the beach. Always bring vinegar, work gloves and a container of meat tenderizer. It does sound strange but they will all help if you should get stung. Don’t leave them in the car. Keep them with you.

The tentacles must be gently removed from the skin of the person who was stung. Do this while wearing the work gloves to prevent further stings.

Rinse the area with saltwater. Do not use fresh water to rinse because it can make the cells that haven’t discharged do so. This will cause more pain.

Pour the vinegar over the jellyfish sting or soak the area in a bucket of vinegar. The vinegar helps reduce the stinging pain. Now, mix the meat tenderizer with salt water to form a thick paste. Smear the paste on the part of the body that was stung. This should provide immediate relief.

It is not normal to have a hard time breathing or swallowing after a jellyfish sting. If this occurs, see medical attention immediately.

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