Warning to returning Israel tourists: ‘Beware the super-sized jellyfish!’
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Warning to returning Israel tourists: ‘Beware the super-sized jellyfish!’

Haifa University scientists studying annual visitors say heavy rainfall and more nutrients washed into the sea have made them bigger and more dangerous

Photo credit: Hagai Nativ
Photo credit: Hagai Nativ

To those who finally do get to visit Israel on holiday this year: beware the jellyfish, which this year are bigger than ever.

Scientists in Haifa have been studying the annual visitors and think that the heavy rainfall earlier this year may account for the super-sized stingers, as the run-off will have washed more nutrients into the sea.

“The nutrients feed the algae, the algae bloom and are eaten by small plankton herbivores, and these are then eaten by the jellyfish,” explained Professor Dror Angel from the University of Haifa’s School of Marine Sciences.

“Overall, this is the summer bloom of jellyfish that we anticipate, but on average, they’re bigger this year than in other years. I don’t think the coronavirus has anything to do with it. Nature is the bigger player.”

Angel said changes in temperature may play a role in determining when jellyfish appear, and the amount of rain could determine the size of the bloom.

Photo credit: Hagai Nativ
Photo credit: Hagai Nativ
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