by Michelle Martin
Sightings of the world’s largest jellyfish species at Meath beaches have been reported to the Council. They are urging people to be careful.
The gigantic Lion’s Mane jellyfish have been infesting Irish waters all summer and have now reached the Royal coastline. Their powerful sting can be very painful to humans.
The largest Lion’s Mane ever recorded was 36.5 metres long. But the average size is roughly half a metre, with varying stretching capabilities of their tentacles.
These tentacles are full of a venomous poison that releases at touching point. A Lion’s Mane sting can pierce the skin, and possibly cause severe and long-lasting pain.
This type of jellyfish can also specifically cause nausea, sweating, cramps, and headaches.
If you are stung, the HSE recommends removing the tentacles with gloved hands and flushing the sting area with sea water (not fresh water). Ask any on duty lifeguards for help and use paracetamol for mild pain.
It may also help to apply a dry cold pack to the area.
Contrary to popular belief you should not pee on the sting. You also shouldn’t try putting any sort of tight bandage on.
For anything more than mild discomfort, you should get medical attention. In severe cases symptoms can include breathing difficulties, chest tightness and swelling in or around the mouth. And in rare cases, a Lion’s Mane sting may cause anaphylactic shock.