Tens of thousands of giant jellyfish are swarming off one of Britain’s most popular stretch of coastline this Bank Holiday. Record numbers of the 5ft long monsters – which weigh five stone each – were spotted off the Dorset coast. The unprecedented invasion of barrel jellyfish may due to over fishing which leaves fewer predators to eat them when they are young and smaller. The jellyfish, which are more than three feet wide, may also have overwintered in the depths of UK waters.
Their sting is not considered dangerous to humans but is similar to that of a nettle and can cause a rash. Conservationist Steve Trewhella spotted the swarm from his dive boat off the coast of Kimmeridge in Dorset. Last year he had seen two and was hoping he would be lucky enough to find a couple again to show his grandson Finn Hatcher, ten. But he was shocked when he discovered the waters a mile off shore filled with the creatures – each the size of a dustbin lid – and said he swam among more than 100. FULL REPORT