Sea nettles nettle some OBX beachgoers From Michelle Wagner | Outer Banks Voice on July 29, 2020It’s the season for stinging jelliesFlags warn OBX beachgoers of sea monsters to prevent. (Kill Devil Hills Ocean Rescue)Together with warm sea temperatures and crystal-clear water last couple of weeks, Outer Banks beachgoers have been visiting another indication of summertime — jellyfish. Having to navigate their way across these sea creatures that may provide an annoying bite, together with a recent growth in sea lice, has several people opting to remain on the arid sand.While sea nettles and other sorts of jellyfish may appear more omnipresent in the past week or so, local experts say that’s pretty typical for this time of season and include that they play a significant part in the ocean’s ecosystem food chain.“We tend to get jellies in the summer over the course of a long hot stretch of weather,” stated Terri Kirby Hathaway, a marine education specialist at North Carolina Sea Grant. Along with the crystal clear sea water which has graced the Outer Banks off and on over the past couple of months has definitely helped beachgoers more readily spot them.Sea nettles, which are inclined to flourish in warmer waters, can provide a nasty, however non-dangerous bite if a person brushes up against it. They often have a white or red tinge and tentacles, and Hathaway states they’re typically those accountable for “the sting that we feel.”Kill Devil Hills Ocean Rescue, which this year started flying flags around the shores to alert beachgoers when jellyfish and other seeing sea life tend to be somewhat more widespread, has hoisted the flags off and on over the duration of the summer. However, Ocean Rescue Director David Elder claims the total amount of jellyfish that summer was on par with other years.Jennette’s Pier Director Mike Remige concurs, adding that as a surfer, he hasn’t seen any longer jellyfish than through a normal year. But sea lice, which are mostly blue snakes, are increasingly common lately and can cause extreme itching. Remige noted that the critters are entering their next gravid span in late July and early August, which makes it more probable that beachgoers could float through a patch of those very small sea creatures.Hathaway cautioned that if jellies are washed up on the shore or deceased, their stinging cells in the tentacles can nevertheless operate. “Their tentacles can break off of the bell, yet can still sting even if not connected to the body,” she explained, noting that like bee venom, a few individuals are more allergic to their sting than others.Hathaway stated which other jellyfish that could be discovered at Outer Banks waters in the time of year are cabbage-head, or cannonball jellyfish — named after their cannonball shaped bell. “Those are completely harmless,” Hathaway noted. She included that moon jellies — shaped like an umbrella and readily identified with their four different horseshoe-shaped gonads — would be the most frequent across the Outer Banks.There are still a number of explanations for why jellyfish may appear in larger numbers during specific periods during the summer and Hathaway mentioned among these. “When we get sea nettles, you can usually look back a few days and there was a big rain even in the Chesapeake Bay watershed,” that she explained.In the late summer and early autumn, consistent temperate waters could lead to sea life by the Gulf Stream to go to the Outer Banks shore, including the more harmful Portuguese man-o-war and vibrant blue switches, which aren’t thought to be harmful but can deliver a sting. Both are about the jellyfish. At winter, Lion’s Mane and Mushroom Cap jellies are more common on the Outer Banks.While jellies could be pesky to bargain with for beachgoers, Hathaway stated they serve a significant function, supplying meals to Loggerhead and Leatherback sea turtles, in addition to ocean sunfish and spadefish.