The last 2 weeks have been rather quiet as far as jellyfish reports are concerned. Usually I get two to five reports a week. But suddenly a large number of box jellyfish are being reported in the surf off Volusia County, Florida beaches.
Photographer and artist Kem McNair has generously shared the photos he took of the box jellyfish invasion at Ponce Inlet, New Smyrna Beach.
The box jellyfish, also referred to as a sea-wasp, has a very powerful sting. In some areas of the world, the sting of certain species of box jelly can be fatal. This does not seem to be the case in Florida waters, thankfully. But this is one you want to avoid.
As for the particulars of this invasion, environment writer Dinah Voyles Pulver has an excellent write-up in the Daytona Beach News Journal.
I would like to thank Kem McNair for sharing his photos to help educate all of us about box jellies. Kem has been photographing surfers and beaches for decades and has captured some pretty amazing things with his camera. He is the photographer who captured a spinner shark jumping out of the water near two surfers off New Smyrna Beach. He’s also an artist and a musician. Check out his web site:
As a final note, I will be giving a half-hour slide show presentation on Florida jellyfish at this weekend’s 15th Annual International Seabean Symposium at the Cocoa Beach Public Library (550 North Brevard Ave., Cocoa Beach, FL). My presentation is scheduled for 11:30 a.m. Saturday, October 23, 2010. It’s free. 2010 Seabean Symposium schedule (opens as a pdf file).