Today I wrote a report about jellyfish:

Jellyfish of the Mediterranean (Pelagia noctiluca) are also known as mauve stingers. Pelagia means “of the sea’” in Latin. Nocti means night, while luca stands for light. They live on the coast everywhere except in the north and Indian Ocean which includes Russia, Canada mainlands, India and the east of Africa. They are found mostly in warm and temperate waters. They are bioluminescent, so they shed light when it becomes dark.

Pelagia noctiluca feed mostly on plankton, other jellyfish, fish eggs and small fish. Considered carnivores, they are not known for eating plants. They will suck up their prey until it reaches their tentacles. The tentacles are poisonous but will only mildly sting for humans and may not hurt other big creatures including sharks, swordfish and sea turtles. They surprisingly do not have a liver, intestines, or pancreas. The food goes into the bell and is broken down and delivers the nutrients to the jellyfish and then it throws out the rest. The jellyfish has a different digestive system. Animals that eat the jellyfish include swordfish, sharks, sea turtles, and penguins.

The sting of the Pelagia noctiluca is painful but also quite itchy. The sting will also burn, so be careful. If you do happen to be stung, don’t rub the sting, or dab with hot water, alcohol, or ammonia. Vinegar can sometimes make it better, but sometimes worse, so I would suggest not to add vinegar. Things to do to help:

  1. Rinse off with seawater
  2. If available, add a mixture of seawater and baking soda for 1-2 minutes to get away any of the leftover stinging cells
  3. Remove leftover tentacles with a plastic credit card, tweezers, etc.
  4. Apply a cold pack, plastic bag with ice, etc. for 5-15 minutes

The tentacles are the only place where they sting, so if you touch the top (bell) you will not get stung, but still do not touch the bell.