Mrunal Manmay Dash

Thousands of jellyfish carcasses were found lying along the beach in Puri on Tuesday taking beachgoers by surprise.

As per reports, the local fishermen and tourists spotted the jellyfish carcasses in the morning and informed the authorities. Though nobody could say when did this happen, some suspected that they could have been washed ashore on Monday night.

Speaking about the jellyfish stranding, Marine Scientist, Gyanaranjan Sahoo said, “I have heard that jellyfish carcasses have been found along the Puri coast. Jellyfish swarming is a natural event. Thousands of them wash ashore on many sea beaches across the globe. The reasons are many; from pollution in sea to cyclonic storms.”

“The recent cyclone Mocha over the Bay-of-Bengal may be a reason behind this. But it has to be investigated to arrive at a particular reason behind this,” said Sahoo.

It is pertinent to mention here that Puri beach witnessed exactly the same phenomenon on May 24, 2021, just two days before Cyclone Yaas made landfall in Odisha.

Naturally, the jellyfish straddle the ocean's surface with a rigid shell poking just above the water and an array of tentacles dangling just underneath it. As it catches wind, the jelly floats from place to place, capturing tiny fish and plankton wherever it roams.

Jellyfish are gelatinous organisms that form large aggregations in the ocean in response to hydrographical changes. As per a report published in the Journal Of Water & Climate Change, a total of 842 species of Cnidaria, containing 212 species of Hydrozoa, 34 species of Scyphozoa, and 6 species of Cubozoa have been recorded from Indian waters. More than 23 locations along the coast of India including Puri and Ganjam have witnessed jellyfish aggregations, swarms, and beach stranding in the last four decades.

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