I went kayaking — and ended up in a shocking jellyfish ‘soup’

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A man set out for what he thought was going to be a regular day of kayaking — but was met with a giant gaggle of jellyfish instead.

Chris Denehy is a sea kayak tour guide and runs his own company, Clearwater Paddling, outside of the Isle of Barra in Outer Hebrides, an island off of the west coast of Scotland.

He said it was his 15-year-old daughter that first noticed the stinging animal when he took out a group this week, according to Southwest News Service.

“I was leading a group exploring the cliffs and caves on the west coast of Barra when my 15-year-old daughter Ellie spotted the compass jellyfish in a rocky gully,” Denehy told SWNS. “They were in a steep-sided rocky inlet on Grean Head.”

“I jokingly said it was like ‘kayaking in jellyfish soup gently stirred by a kayak paddle,’” he continued.

The jellyfish can be seen in a huge cluster on top of each other, hanging out by the rocks.


The kind of jellyfish he spotted are called compass jellyfish.
The kind of jellyfish he spotted are called compass jellyfish.
Chris Denehy / SWNS

The kind of jellyfish that Denehy and his kayaking group spotted in the Scottish waters are called compass jellyfish, because the brown markings on them make them look like a compass, per Wildlife Trusts.

However, although they may look quite mesmerizing, you don’t want to be stung by one of them.

These jellyfish give a “nasty” sting, according to the Wildlife Trusts, and they can sometimes leave their tentacle behind after they’ve stung something, meaning that it can continue to zap you with it, even though the part is no longer connected to their body.

They urge anyone who comes in contact with the creatures not to touch them.

Even still, Denehy said that being able to see all of these compass jellyfish up close was a “totally exceptional” experience.


Denehy explained that it was actually his 15-year-old daughter who spotted the jellyfish at first.
Denehy explained that it was actually his 15-year-old daughter who spotted the jellyfish first.
Chris Denehy / SWNS

"I jokingly said it was like 'kayaking in jelly fish soup gently stirred by a kayak paddle,'" he told SWNS.
“I jokingly said it was like ‘kayaking in jellyfish soup gently stirred by a kayak paddle,’” he told SWNS.
Chris Denehy / SWNS

“Over the last 25 years I have seen large groups of jellyfish over the summer months when we are out kayaking, but this was totally exceptional and fascinating to have such a close-up encounter,” he told SWNS.

“But not perhaps the best place to capsize out of a kayak,” he added.

Typically, these sea creatures are found in the south and west coasts of the UK, according to Cornish Rock Tors, in the months of May through October.

They tend to appear in large populations if there has been a warm winter climate, Cornish Rock Tors reported.

And, although these jellyfish may not be found over on our side of the pond too often, the Tri-state area has had its own share of problems with the creatures this summer.

Last month, clinging jellyfish from the Pacific Ocean were found in New Jersey waters.

Those kinds of jellyfish are found in shallow waters, and are extremely small, meaning that they can sometimes be hard to spot.

“They’re kind of insidious because when you get stung, it’s not bad immediately, but four or five hours later the extreme pain starts to kick in,” Paul Bologna, a marine biologist at Montclair State University, told The Post.

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