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Stingy Ouchies, where the water meets the shore

Moon jellyfish bloom washes ashore at our local beaches
Posted at 6:29 PM, May 31, 2023
and last updated 2023-05-31 19:29:57-04

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — At McGee beach you have to be careful where you step. Jellyfish are washing ashore.

“I get livid with this type of thing. Especially when I do want to get in the water which is rare,” Aristeo Sandoval said.

Sandoval is visiting Corpus Christi with his family. They drove down from Houston to enjoy the beach but that didn’t go as planned.

“It was actually my sister that ended up getting stung out here that I noticed the large number of jellyfish out here,” Sandoval said.

Sandoval’s sister, Sydney Welsh tells us she got stung when she least expected it.

"I was in the water getting some seashells- in ankle-deep water and I got stung in the back of the legs and later on I got stung on my wrist,” Welsh said.

President and CEO of Texas State Aquarium, Jesse Gilbert said this is a moon jellyfish, a common species of jellyfish in Coastal Texas.

“They can sting but it’s a very mild sting. It’s nothing like the Portuguese Man of War. Even when they’re out of water and you step on them you will feel that,” Gilbert said.

While moon jellyfish are not uncommon. Gilbert explains why we’re seeing so many in our waters right now.

“They typically bloom after a large rain event, and we’ve had a lot of rain lately. That change in salt content in the Bay triggers the jellyfish to reproduce at an increased rate,” Gilbert explained.

According to Gilbert, without a lot of rain the levels of jellyfish should go back to normal. Until then, the city's website gives an up to date look at beach conditions and warnings.