Rhodes: Medusa 1 meter diameter arrived from Red Sea – Risks from contact with skin

Nomadic diameter 1 metre were identified in the , derived from . What the Hydrobiological Station of Rhodes points out in its announcement. The huge jellyfish were found in the bay of the Triantas of Rhodes, where they arrived from the Red Sea. As has become known, the staff of the island’s Hydrobiological Station, identified 4 jellyfish of the Rhopilema nomadica species, Monday (11.03.2024) and Tuesday 12 March. In a statement the Ministry of Rhodes notes that: “This species is endemic to the Red Sea, and in the Mediterranean the first record of the species was made in 1970. Rhopilema nomadica, also known as a nomadic jellyfish, has a semi-spherical shape, transparent-blue color, while its diameter can reach 1 meter. On the lower surface of the body, there are 8 tentacles with nematocysts, i.e. small stings with poison, which if they come into contact with the skin cause severe pain, feeling burning, itching and irritation of the area. Even if we find a jellyfish on the beach, we avoid contact with bare hands! In case of contact with the skin, we shall follow the following steps: 1. Remove the tentacles or other remains of the jellyfish using a plastic card, a tweezer, a wood or even a plastic shovel from a children’s game. We don’t touch the jellyfish with bare hands! 2. Rinse with sea water or vinegar, but without rubbing the area. We don’t use fresh water! 3. We do not cover the area with bandages. 4. As symptoms may vary from person to person, we do not use medicinal preparations without medical advice. 5. If pain and swelling remain, we consult a doctor. 6. In the event of an allergic person, this person must contact/go directly to a doctor or hospital. Since the 1980s, periodic outbreaks of the population in the Greek seas have been recorded. The occurrence of jellyfish outbreaks is a transient phenomenon that usually lasts from a few hours to a few days, and depends mainly on sea currents. At the same time, increasing the temperature of the planet and thus the sea, due to climate change, creates favourable conditions for the emergence of such outbreaks in jellyfish populations. Typically, in previous years, the sea temperature on the coast of Rhodes during February – March, was usually at the 16th C, while this year for the same period, the temperature is almost 19th C! Moreover, the reduction of sea turtles, whose jellyfish are a basic food, contributes to the increase of the jellyfish population. In case of observation of such jellyfish please inform Rhodes Hydrobiological Station through our page Rhodes Aquarium – Hydrobiological Station – HCMR or via email ([email protected])”.