Watch where you step: Jellyfish washing ashore in Myrtle Beach

Jellyfish are appearing along Grand Strand beaches. (Source: WMBF News)
Jellyfish are appearing along Grand Strand beaches. (Source: WMBF News)
Updated: Apr. 23, 2019 at 6:45 PM EDT
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MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - On your next trip to the beach in the Grand Strand, you may want to keep an eye on where you step, because jellyfish have been spotted along the beaches.

There’s no telling what you’ll find washed up on shore, but chances are this time of year you may stumble upon jellyfish.

“They are affected by the wind and currents, and of course if storms pop up and everything, that can kind of bring them in as well,” said Battalion Chief Brian Mitchell with the Myrtle Beach Fire Department Ocean Rescue.

Cannonball jellyfish are the most common species popping up on shores in Myrtle Beach.

“They’re kind of the bigger, chunkier ones you’ll see in the water. They’re typically white or kind of opaque on top and they actually have a dark red, brown, or purple ring around the bottom of them and they have really short or chunky tentacles,” said Stacia White, assistant curator of husbandry for Ripley’s Aquarium.

But despite their size, they’re not so much to fear. Cannonball jellyfish typically aren’t harmful to humans.

“Those are more just kind of a nuisance bumping into them or seeing them on the beach," said Mitchell.

Still, beachgoers are warned, look but don’t touch. Other jellies you may find are Portuguese Man o’ War and Atlantic Sea Nettles which pack a powerful sting.

“Those are going to hurt you a little bit. It’s going to be really itchy and kind of burn," said White.

Myrtle Beach Fire Department Ocean Rescue said it often responds to jellyfish stings in the summer season. That’s why beach goers are urged to be cautious when coming across these sea creatures.

“You don’t want to be playing around with them or trying to show your kids what it is because it could affect you," said Mitchell.

Mitchell said if you do get stung by a jellyfish, there are some home remedies like vinegar or applying warm sea water to the affected area.

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