I went for a spectacular swim last Saturday. My husband, Tony and I got to Long Branch bright and early at 8 am to get a full beach day and beat the traffic. It is rare that we have a weekend off together, and all we wanted to do was body surf all day long.
My first observation was that the water was gorgeous! You could see right to the bottom which was a good thing because there were more critters in the water than usual. Sure we saw a few clear jellyfish, the kind that won't sting. No big deal, I can share the water with them. However, we had another visitor that was not so easy to deal with. They are known in the science world as Pelagia Noctiluca and frankly, they were quite rude if you ask me. They were busy stinging people like it was their job.
The common name for our unwanted guests is the mauve stinger. I got to meet one up close and personal when my husband Tony thought it would be funny to toss me up in the air and have been almost land on one. My face missed it by inches and that is a good thing because the more I learn about these guys the more I’m freaking out.
According to marine biologists, the mauve stinger is an extremely rare sighting at the Jersey Shore and they pack a bigger punch than a typical jellyfish. The mauve stinger earns its name because it has more stinging power than most. It has stingers on its tentacles as well as all over its body and crown.
Sadly, I was swimming next to a 7-year-old little girl and her dad when she got stung by one. She was not a happy girl. Experts are not sure why we are seeing an influx of mauve stingers but warn that you should stay far away from them even if they are dead. Yep, even if you touch a dead one washed up on the shore you will get stung! Just be aware if you are swimming this weekend because they are still hanging around.
Experts say don't try to catch these guys to put in your saltwater tanks either. Their sting is very painful.
This is a list of animals that are illegal to own in New Jersey.
10 Exotic Animals That Are Legal To Own In New Jersey
Here are exotic animals banned from each state.