‘Thousands’ of stinging jellyfish with detachable tentacles swarm Devon coast as swimmers warned to keep distance

DANGEROUS new jellyfish has turned up on British shores amid huge swarms of unusual species being seen – including some with detachable tentacles.

Compass jellyfish – or the technical term Chrysaora hysocella – can give people a nasty sting and swimmers are being warned to keep their distance.

Reports say hordes of jellyfish, possibly in the thousands, are drifting in and out off the shores of South Devon.

Explorer and wildlife expert Darren Murray managed to snap pictures of the Compass jellyfish off Brixham while in his kayak.

The Compass jellyfish are occasional visitors to Devon's shore when the waters get warmer.

They can produce a burning sting to anybody that gets close – and even leave a tentacle behind on their victim.

Incredibly, the jellyfish can still use the tentacle to sting even when its disconnected from the rest of its body.

"Once they have stung something, jellyfish often leave the tentacle behind and can continue to sting using it even when not to connected to their body," the Wildlife Trusts confirm.

Photographer Darren said he was fortunate to catch the jellyfish.

"It's a definite bloom of jellyfish," he said.

"There are different types and thousands of them but they drift in and out so I was quite lucky to drift in amongst them.

Another water creature that can come to Devon is the large barrel jellyfish – known also as dustbin lid jellyfish.

Last year, a professional diver and wildlife photographer managed to capture a photo of the jellyfish – which is the size of a human – in Falmouth Bay, Cornwall.

Dan Abbott and wildlife presenter Lizzie Daly were just a couple of hundred yards from the shore when they spotted the enormous sea creature on a dive in July 2019.

Dan, a shark expert who has swum around the world with tiger sharks, bull sharks and Great Whites, said spotting the huge barrel jellyfish was one of the most incredible things he'd seen in British waters.

Luckily, the giant jellyfish are harmless and are only spotted every few years in the seas around this country.

In July, hundreds of harmless "moon jellyfish" were also spotted around the Devon coast.

According to The Marine Biological Association, they are the most common jellyfish to be seen in the UK, followed by the Compass Jellyfish.

In third place is the Lion's Mane jellyfish, which is also a large species of jellyfish.

The Dustbin-lid jellyfish comes in fourth while the Blue jellyfish is the fifth most likely jellyfish found in UK waters.

In sixth is the Mauve stinger which has a highly-irritating sting which produces a burning sensation leading to hives, blisters and scabs as well as nausea and other symptoms.

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