Jellyfish Rare to New Jersey Washes Up in Beach Haven

Oct 03, 2018
Courtesy of: Suzanne Schenker

While walking along the beach late last month off Iroquois Avenue in Beach Haven, Suzanne Schenker came across something blue and bright lying in the sand.

It turned out what she saw were four blue button jellyfish, which are known to exist in more tropical waters.

“At first, it looked like the cut of a tree branch with a blue fringe,” she said.

Not sure where to go, Schenker enlisted advice from people and groups on social media. They led her to post a picture of her find on a Facebook page known as New Jersey Jellyspotters. In response to Schenker’s post, Paul Bologna, professor of biology and the director of the Marine Biology and Coastal Sciences Program at Montclair State University, posted that if anyone comes across a blue button jellyfish, “we would love to get a hold of it for DNA.”

“I’m so glad I snapped a picture, but I just wish I had realized how rare they were at the time and saved one for DNA testing on,” said Schenker.

Bologna said the jellyfish probably wound up off the New Jersey coast after being pushed from the Gulf Stream by Hurricane Florence.

“I had never seen any in New Jersey before,” said Bologna. “But if you see one, don’t worry. They’re not dangerous like the man o’ war.”  —E.E.  






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