Last week at as the tide went out at St Bees it left behind a large number of small jellyfish, marooned on the sand. This jellyfish bloom was probably caused by suitable conditions of warmth, sunshine and calm seas meaning that numbers of jellyfish build up. Jellyfish aren’t strong swimmers and, while they can pulse their bell shaped bodies, they can’t move quickly which means if the tide turns and rushes out they often get left on the sand.
Most of the jellyfish seen at St Bees were moon jellyfish (Aurelia aurita), which is one of the commonest jellyfish in UK waters. The Marine Conservation Society have more information on all the jellyfish we commonly see in the UK, and a few more exotic visitors.
Some UK jellyfish do sting so we definitely don’t recommend touching any jellies you see washed up on the beach, but have a good look – these beautiful and delicate creatures will be washed back out to sea with the next tide.