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Are There Jellyfish In Jamaica | by Venesha Johnson, Associate Writer
It is no secret that Jamaica has some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. Those of us who live here on this tropical island don’t ever get bored or “used to” going to the beach. It is still one of the go-to places for many of us.
Many travellers all around the world add Jamaica to their bucket list just so they can experience our beaches and culture. But have you ever wondered what lurks in our sea, besides the few tiny fishes we usually see at the beach, especially at night?
I am a lover of going to the beach at night, the cool air and warm seawater are a combination I live for. But I am always very apprehensive every time I go, because what creatures are in our waters?
We have already established that very few sharks roam around these areas and not only aren't they particularly dangerous but they don’t come close to shore either. Over the years, the shark attacks in Jamaica could be counted on one hand, from that we can conclude that we are pretty safe from sharks. What about another sea animal though? Are there Jellyfish in Jamaica, how much of a danger do they pose?
Yes, there are jellyfishes in Jamaica. Some might find this news unbelievable because they may have lived in Jamaica or visited Jamaica for years and never encountered one, while others are not shocked at all because they see them regularly.
Now that we have established that there are definitely jellyfishes in Jamaica, of course, you want to know what kind and how dangerous they are. Well, don’t be afraid. The only jellyfishes reported to be found in Jamaica are Thimble Jellyfish.
The thimble jellyfish (Linuche unguiculata) is a cnidarian that can be found in the Caribbean and the temperate West Atlantic Ocean. It's a little jellyfish with a flat-topped, straight-sided bell. Its presence in a given location is determined by factors such as the presence of prey, water temperature, salinity, and oxygen saturation.
They are mostly found in deep waters and when they do come to shore, it is usually due to factors such as high winds or rainfall.
The Thimble Jellyfish are not dangerous. If you get in contact with one and just happen to get stung, you can expect to feel what some describe as a sharp burning sensation or sudden pain that lasts no longer than 10 minutes. Although there have been reports from people who didn't feel any pain at all. You might also experience itchiness and rashes in the area.
The larvae from Thimble Jellyfish might actually be even more irritating and bothersome than an actual sting from a jellyfish. When a cloud of larvae gets in contact with you, it will stick to your clothing and hair, causing a very uncomfortable rash called sea bather's eruption.
Jellyfishes can be found in the deep waters surrounding the island. Jellyfish sightings, interactions and accidents have been frequently reported specifically in the tourist towns of Montego Bay and Negril. If you intend to go deepsea diving or snorkelling, you have a high chance of running into some jellyfishes. You might see some along the shore too, but the chances of that are pretty slim.
If you get stung by a thimble jellyfish, in most cases you won’t have anything to worry about and won’t even require treatment. But if you need to ease the discomfort, there are a few things that you can do. Of course, if you ask any “old school” Jamaican or fisherman they might tell you that the best remedy is to just pee on it, but before you resort to that, here are a few less messy ways you can combat the effects of the sting:
So, are there jellyfish in Jamaica? Yes. Do you need to worry about jellyfishes in Jamaica? No, you do not, as a matter of fact, you should be more worried about sea urchins, so pack your water shoes.
On the off chance that you do get stung by a jellyfish, the irritation will pass in no time and will not have a severe impact on your island getaway.
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