Dozens of jellyfish found on White Rock shoreline

Myles Olexson shows one of the many dead jellyfish he and his family came across on White Rock’s shoreline last week.  - Contributed photo
Myles Olexson shows one of the many dead jellyfish he and his family came across on White Rock’s shoreline last week.
— image credit: Contributed photo

The lions have returned to White Rock beach.

But as was the case four years ago, the seemingly unusual appearance of dead lion’s mane jellyfish along the shoreline is nothing out of the ordinary.

“It’s totally normal… totally natural,” Mackenzie Neale, senior biologist at the Vancouver Aquarium, told Peace Arch News then.

“Normally at this time every year, we get calls about it.”

The giant jellyfish caught the attention of beachgoers on the Semiahmoo Peninsula back in 2008, and are once again being spotted by the dozen.

Reilley Olexson, 17, was at White Rock beach with her mom, brother and girlfriend last week when they came across clusters of the jellies on the shoreline west of Oxford Street.

The reddish-brown, gelatinous saucer-shapes are the most common jellies in northern waters. They can grow up to five feet in diameter.

Initially enthralled with their discovery, the group’s excitement became mixed with a degree of concern as more and more of the dead creatures came into view.

“The more we saw, (we thought,) that’s kind of strange,” Olexson said.

“My mom said she’s never seen anything like that and she’s lived here forever.”

Neale assured the numbers are “not at all” a concern.

She said the jellies are “kind of at the mercy of the currents,” and can be found “pretty much everywhere.”

They typically live for about a year and start to die off towards the winter, when a lot of their food supply – other jellies – disappears.

She advised against touching the dead jellies, as they can still sting.



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