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Jellyfish in the Beaufort & Hilton Head Island Area

Beaufort, Hunting Island and Hilton Head Island local waters, like all salt water areas in the world, do have jellyfish. Most native jellyfish in our waters do not produce severe stings, but some may be very painful.
Dead jellyfish and unattached tentacles can still sting. Treatment is usually white vinegar and scrapping off the stinger cells attached to skin.

Cannonball Jellyfish (very common)

This is the most common jellyfish encountered in our waters. It is the least venomous native jelly and stings are very mild. It looks like a jelly ball and does not have tentacles. Often seen washed up on the beach.

Moon Jellyfish (not very common)

This is the most recognized of jellyfish, and is relatively infrequent in area waters. It's sting can produce a mild burning or prickly sensation that is usually confined to the point of contact.

Lion’s Mane (common in winter months)

Usually common during colder months of the year. It's sting can produce a relatively mild burning pain at the contact point.

Sea Nettle (common in summer season)

Believed to be responsible for most of the jellyfish stings that occur in our waters. Tentacles can be several feet long and may produce a moderate to severe burning pain at point of contact. Often leaves welts that look more like "whip marks".

Sea Wasp & Portuguese Man-of-War (rare, but may appear after large storms)

The Sea Wasp, also called the box jelly, it is the most venomous jellyfish normally inhabiting our waters. Their painful sting can cause severe dermatitis. The Portuguese Man-of-War is extremely rare in our waters, but can occasionally be blown in during a storm from the Gulf stream. Highly venomous tentacles can reach 30-40 feet in length. Both species can produce considerable to severe pain.