on air now

Mornington Peninsula beach inundated by bluebottle jellyfish

A Mornington Peninsula beach has been inundated by bluebottle jellyfish.

Pieces of broken bluebottles often wash up on Sorrento back beach in late summer, but full-bodied bluebottles have never been sighted in such strong numbers.

Marc Clavin from Sorrento Surf Life Saving Club said he’s never seen anything like the current inundation.

“It’s very unusual,” he said.

“It’s completely out of season for us.”

No one has been stung yet, but with schoolies beginning this week, Mr Clavin said it’s only a matter of time.

“If there’s big rafts of them floating around out there, if you swim into them as a surfer or a swimmer it’s going to be a nasty state of affairs,” he said.

Marine biologist Dr Lisa Anne Gershwin explained what to do if you’re stung by a bluebottle.

“Use either hot water or ice, but it’s really important that before you apply the fresh water, whether it’s hot or cold, that you rinse it well with sea water because the fresh water will actually force the immediate and massive discharge of the stinging cells that are still on the body,” she told Neil Mitchell.

Dr Gershwin also revealed an unusual trait of bluebottle jellyfish: their crest, a sail-like appendage that sticks up on the bottle part of the animal, can be right or left handed.

“When the wind comes up it grabs the ones that have the sail going in the right direction for that wind,” she said.

Press PLAY below for more.

Image: Harry Laub