November 22, 2014
LAGUNA BEACH, Calif. (AP) - A rare jellyfish may have made a stinging debut at a Southern California beach.
The Orange County Register says some people suffered stings all over their bodies last week at Thousand Steps Beach in south Laguna Beach.
Some Fourth of July swimmers came ashore with dark membranes clinging to their bodies as the jellyfish broke up in the surf.
From the color, the jellyfish may be rare black jellies.
Nigela Hillgarth of Birch Aquarium says the species was only identified in 1999 and it's only recently appeared in Southern California.
Black jelly tentacles can grow to 30 feet long. Hillgarth says warmer ocean temperatures may have brought the jellyfish closer to shore in search of prey, where they were caught by the current and thrown ashore.
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