Thousands of cannonball jellyfish invade Georgia's Tybee Island

Thousands of cannonball jellyfish invade Georgia's Tybee Island

Pictures posted to social media show hundreds – possibly thousands – of jellyfish washed ashore a Georgia beach in a rare and unusual sight. 

Jodi Moody was on a walk along the north end of Tybee Island when she spotted what she called a “jellyfish jamboree.” Hundreds of cannonball jellyfish had washed ashore, lining the beach. 

“I’ve never seen this many at once before,” Moody wrote in a post on Facebook, which has been shared more than 1,700 times as of Monday afternoon. 

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Experts say it’s not uncommon for jellyfish to wash up on the beach this time of year, though the weather plays a role in how many end up doing so. 

The Georgia Department of Natural Resources (GADNR) has said that cannonball jellyfish are also the most common species on the southeastern coast of the United States – and also one of the least venomous. 

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Cannonball jellyfish are especially common in spring and fall. 

“It’s a matter of when the winds and currents are just right,” said Carolyn Belcher, chief of marine fisheries for the department’s Coastal Resources Division, according to the Sacramento Bee. “The [jellyfish] are abundant off of our waters in late winter, early spring. So it’s not surprising that this is the timing of it.”

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Moody told WJCL that the wind was especially strong the day she spotted the “jamboree.” 

However, not all jellyfish are as benign as the cannonball variety: A lion’s mane jellyfish washed ashore Tybee Island in April

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Lifeguards issued a warning to locals to stay away from the lion’s mane because it does sting.