Plate-sized jellyfish ring Ala., Miss. islands

Plate-sized jellyfish ring Ala., Miss. islands

September 18th, 2011 by Associated Press in Local - Breaking News

MOBILE, Ala. - Jellyfish the size of dinner plates are clustering around the barrier islands of Alabama and Mississippi.

The Mobile Press-Register reports the jellyfish are so thick in Orange Beach that they look like stepping stones on the water.

The moon jellyfish do not sting, but swimmers can feel them while bathing in the Gulf of Mexico. They range in color from pink to white and have short tentacles.

Scientists say it's too early to know if the jellyfish population has increased in the Gulf. Wind, currents and tides likely brought the jellyfish close to shore. University of Southern Mississippi marine scientist Monty Graham says the jellyfish tend to accumulate along the edges of the shore, which helps them reproduce.