Photo that will horrify swimmers
The NSW coastline is being stormed by an armada of bluebottles as the state's beaches get battered by weather conditions favourable for the stinging species of jellyfish.
Strong north-easterly winds came in on Thursday night and have continued on Friday, blowing from Coffs Harbour on the state's north coast down to Merimbula on the far south coast.
Thousands of bluebottles have already washed up on beaches in Sydney, including Maroubra and Bronte in the eastern suburbs as well as Warriewood and Palm Beach on the northern side of the city.
A Surf Life Saving NSW spokesperson said this was a direct result of the wind conditions.
"Normally, bluebottles come in with a nor'easter and that started blowing overnight," the spokesperson told NCA NewsWire.
"It is blowing at 20 knots and that is a very strong wind. Bluebottles are turning up on our beaches already.
"I'd be very surprised if they weren't turning up on a lot of beaches throughout NSW with this nor'easter blowing from Coffs all the way down to far south coast down to places like Bega (and nearby beaches including Merimbula and Tura Beach)."
Emma Johnston, a professor of marine ecology and ecotoxicology at UNSW, shared a video to social media of a wave of bluebottles at Maroubra beach.
Professor Johnston also said winds were the reason.
"The season and the winds were right for the blueys to blow in," she wrote on Twitter.
Surf Life Saving NSW urged beachgoers to exercise caution this weekend with regards to marine stingers and to download the Beachsafe app. It provides information on beach safety including bluebottle stings.
Bluebottles are a non-tropical marine stinger whose blue, balloon-like sail sits above the water and is attached to a long tentacle extending below.
The tentacle is covered in stinging cells called nematocysts. When they touch human skin it reacts by injecting a small amount of a toxin that causes irritation and can be painful.
"Please, heed the advice of lifesavers and lifeguards and use the Beachsafe app and website for beach safety information," the spokesperson added.
Originally published as Photo that will horrify swimmers