ST. JOHNS COUNTY, Fla. -- The St. Augustine Beach Police Department issued a warning Friday about a jellyfish spotted at the St. Augustine Beach. They told the public to be careful walking on the beach because Portuguese Man o' War jellyfish have been washing ashore.
For a couple of weeks along Florida's coasts, these blue bubbly sea creatures have been washing ashore.
"Man o' War are jellyfish," Mark Martindale said. He is the director of the UF Whitney Marine Lab and he happens to study jellyfish.
He said this is the typical time of year for Man o' War wash ashore in Florida.
"They're usually seasonal, so we get them in the winter. They probably blow up from the Caribbean," Martindale said.
But this year, some surfers and beach goers feel like there are more of them along our coasts. Martindale noted the population and arrival time may have been affected by last year's weather.
"We could be looking at the effects of the aftermath of some of the big hurricanes and big weather patterns we've seen in the Caribbean in the last years," he said.
He also said Man o' War aren't the only jellyfish affected by last year's hurricanes.
The Cassiopia has been affected as well, found in the Florida Keys, South Florida, and the Caribbean. They help with bio medical research and could be the key to keeping coral reefs from bleaching.
"The hurricanes from last summer agitated the waters to that they were mostly blown off shore. So now we find them very difficult to collect," he explained.
So just as storms affected the Cassiopea, Martindale said we may see different patterns with Man o' War.
And even on the sand, Man o' War still sting!
"The tentacles can move 6-8, even 10 feet away form were the bell is, so be quite careful," he said.
And if you see these blue guys, marvel at them, but don't touch!