Dangerous clinging jellyfish found in Barnegat Bay, Long Island Sound

POINT PLEASANT, New Jersey (WABC) -- There's a warning about a potentially dangerous clinging jellyfish that has been found along the Jersey Shore.

A fisherman recently caught the tiny jellyfish in the Barnegat Bay just south of Point Pleasant Inlet.

The discovery of this tiny jellyfish in the waters of New Jersey has come as quite a big surprise.

The clinging jelly fish usually inhabits the Pacific Ocean.

A brush with multiple clinging jelly fish could possibly lead the victim to a hospital emergency room visit with kidney failure.

"Small things can pack a powerful punch affiliated with their venom and their toxin," said Paul Bologna, the Director of Aquatic Science, Montclair State University.

These potent jelly fish are smaller than a dime.

The fisherman who spotted this tiny creature at night had a flashlight, but how did he see something so small?

"He pulsed into the light, I just saw this little mark on him, and he just stood out," said Josh Hart, a fisherman from Brick, NJ.

Hart turned the jelly over to the aquarium in Point Pleasant and they contacted Montclair State.

Scientists aren't sure how the clinging jelly fish got there but do have a theory.

"A species like this probably was transported via some ship at some point and the larvae came into the system," Bologna said.

Scientist Bologna knows his jelly fish first hand and has been stung himself. But he is not testing this tiny jelly's bite.

"I tend to sting myself with lots of jellyfish just to see how bad it is, just to give a characterization, I'm unwilling to do it with this one," Bologna said.

The jelly fish has been spotted in the waters of Cape Cod and Long Island Sound.

So does Jersey have a population?

"If you find one that means that there's a lot more. It doesn't just randomly, magically, show up," Bologna said.

Hart stepped into the water to catch the clinging jelly fish.

He's not worried about jumping into the waters of Barnaget Bay.

"It is so small, that's why it's scary. With tentacles total that thing is the size of a quarter," Hart said.

The clinging jellyfish usually lives in bay water and likes to surface at night.
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