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Nation diary: large jellyfish shipwrecked on the sands

Morfa Harlech, Gwynedd They’ve drifted on ocean currents for 500m years, pulsing gently in the direction of landfall

The wave smudges out one thing written within the sand with a stick. I think about it as a spell solid to appeal ashore these misplaced at sea. And so it does, as tides ebb and circulate, stranding the barrel jellyfish. These extraordinary creatures, often known as dustbin-lid jellyfish due to their dimension and form, have been shipwrecked after an epic voyage.

Rhizostoma pulmo or R octopus is the most important jellyfish in British waters (they’ll develop to almost 90cm in diameter) and is harvested round Wales for high-value medical-grade collagen. It feeds on plankton and its sting doesn’t injure people any greater than do nettles; it’s fed upon by leatherback turtles and sunfish.

Associated: Are you prepared for that jelly? Why it’s time to start out consuming jellyfish

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