The types of jellyfish you may find in the North Sea - and what to do if you get stung

After Sunderland beachgoer Mick Naisbitt captured stunning photographs of a washed up jellyfish, we’ve put together a list of the six jellyfish you may find in the North Sea.

Thursday, 23rd July 2020, 12:00 pm
Updated Thursday, 23rd July 2020, 12:01 pm

Mick managed to photograph the mesmerizing jellyfish while walking along Ryhope beach in Sunderland last weekend.

The 45-year-old salesman captured the image of a Bluefire jellyfish and warned they can be dangerous in or out of the water.

He said: “As with all jellyfish, whether dead or alive, if their stingers are hydrated then they can still sting.”

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Mick Naisbitt photographed the Bluefire jellyfish while walking along Ryhope beach in Sunderland.

Following Mick’s amazing photographs, we have put together a list of jellyfish that can be found in the UK and what to do if you get stung.

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What types of jellyfish are there in the UK?

The UK is home to six different types of jellyfish and two species of jellyfish-like animals.

They all tend to be more commonly found in other areas of the country, however they can all live in the North Sea.

The six types of jellyfish in British waters are:

The Moon jellyfish – UK-wide.

The Compass jellyfish – mainly in the South of England.

The Blue or Bluefire jellyfish – most common on the South West coast and Wales.

The Lion’s Mane jellyfish – found in Northern Wales and Scotland.

The Barrel jellyfish – commonly found in the South West, Ireland, Wales and Western Scotland.

The Mauve stinger – the rarest of UK jellyfish but can be found along the south coast.

The two species of jellyfish-like animals, known as siphonophores, are The Portuguese man o’war (found along the south coast of England) and The by-the-sea-sailor (found along the South West and Welsh coastline).

Are jellyfish found in the UK dangerous?

The stings of UK jellyfish range from mild, such as the Moon jellyfish, to very powerful, like from the Portuguese man o’war which carries the worst sting of all jellyfish and jellyfish-like animals.

What do I do if I’m stung?

Fans of the TV show Friends may encourage you to urinate on the sting if you come into contact with a jellyfish to relief the pain however that will only irritate it further.

According to NHS advice, most stings from sea creatures in the UK are not serious and can be treated with first aid.

Here’s what you should do:

Rinse the affected area with seawater (not fresh water), remove any spines from the skin using tweezers or the edge of a bank card, soak the area in very warm water (as hot as can be tolerated) for at least 30 minutes – use hot flannels or towels if you cannot soak it and take painkillers like paracetamol or ibuprofen.

As well as not urinating on the sting, you should also not use vinegar, apply ice or a cold pack, cover the wound or touch any of the spines.

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