ONE OF the world’s most ferocious types of jellyfish has been spotted swimming off the coast of Ireland.
There have been at least two significant sightings of the potentially deadly Lion’s Mane jellyfish in Irish waters over the past few days.
The first came at Malahide Beach in Dublin where the local authority to issue a statement urging the public to take extra care when using the beach.
A warning posted outside the beach read: "Fingal County Council is urging bathers to be extra vigilant on beaches where Lions Mane jellyfish are found.
“A sting from a Lion’s Mane jellyfish can cause nausea, sweating, cramps, headaches and other symptoms and severe stings should seek urgent medical attention.”
There have been several reported sightings along Dublin’s beaches in recent weeks.
In the past 24 hours, Lough Swilly RNLI have also called on swimmers and dog owners to be on their guard after a Lion’s Mane jellyfish was found washed up on the shores of Buncrana.
The discovery is an indication that free-swimming marine animals are present in the area around Lough Swilly.
It also suggests Lion’s Mane jellyfish are now swimming beyond the East coast of Ireland, where until now they are more commonly found.
Capable of growing as large as 36.5 metres long, Lion’s Mane jellyfish are among the most vicious animals of its kind.
An enormous ocean predator, they boast tentacles stretching out several metres which are used to capture and pull in a variety of prey including fish, sea creatures and even birds.
While undoubtedly stunning to witness in real life, lion’s man jellyfish carry a powerful sting for anyone that comes into contact with the giant tentacles.
In the best-case scenarios, victims experience pain and soreness.
In the worst, the sting can lead to hospitalisation and even death.
Lion’s Mane jellyfish are more often spotted in the Irish Sea from the period running from June until late September.