Thousands of bluebottles are washing up on the NSW coastline as the state is battered by weather conditions that the stinging jellyfish thrive in.
Bluebottles have been spotted in masses at Sydney beaches including Maroubra and Bronte, as well as Warriewood and Palm Beach.
One beachgoer snapped a photo of an invasion of bluebottles in a popular pool on Bondi Beach.
“Australia! If the waves don’t get you, the bluebottles will,” Isaac Irvin wrote on Twitter along with a photo of the jellyfish in a North Bondi beach pool.
The image shocked people online who couldn’t believe how many bluebottles had washed up in one spot.
“I’ve never seen more than three in any square metre of sand and usually one every 30 metres or so. And that’s once or twice during the summer. My goodness this is astonishing,” one person wrote.
Sky News host Laura Jayes retweeted the image, describing it as a “kids’ pool of nightmares”.
Others said they has spotted similar sights at other beaches.
“The full length of Narrawallee beach on the NSW south coast looked like this on the 28th January,” one woman wrote along with a photo showing jellyfish spread along the sand.
Professor Kerryn Phelps was also surprised by the images emerging.
“Wow. The bluebottles have picked February to invade the east coast beaches big time,” she wrote.
Surf Life Saving Sydney Director Matt Spooner said the amount of bluebottles washing up should start to decrease by Monday.
“We have seen the Eastern Suburbs of Sydney hit hard over the last 24 hours, however, as the wind changes tonight we should see the numbers of bluebottles in the water dissipate,” Mr Spooner told Yahoo News Australia.
“We ask that you please pay attention to warning signs displayed by lifesavers and lifeguards as well as frequently checking the beach safe app,” he said.
Bluebottle stings can result in intense pain in the areas of skin which have been in contact with the jellyfish tentacles, but the pain usually subsides after one to two hours.
“Typically, we will see bluebottles appear when it’s warmer currents and northeasterly winds. It’s important if you are stung by a bluebottle, do not rub the affected area but apply hot water, as much as you can manage,” NSW Director of Lifesaving, Joel Wiseman, told Yahoo News.
Jellyfish account for about 10,000 to 30,000 stings each year on the east coast of Australia, according to the Australian Museum.
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