Jellyfish Attack More than 700 Tourists in Spain

At least 700 people have been stung by small, transparent jellyfish on Spanish beaches this week, leading officials to post warning signs.

The creatures have created "a swimmer's nightmare," reports The Associated Press.

The jellyfish have been particularly prolific in their attacks near the city of Elche in eastern Spain, in the area known as Costa Blanca for its white sand beaches.

On Tuesday alone, 380 people were stung, says Juan Carlos Castellanos of the Elche city tourism department.

"In the five or six years I have been in this job, I have never seen anything like this," Castellanos tells AP.

In addition to putting up warning signs, Elche officials are watching for the jellyfish from lookout boats so they can warn beach-going crowds when a mass approaches.

Meanwhile, off Spain's northern coast, in Cantabria and the Basque region, more menacing, jellyfish-like Portuguese man-of-wars have also stung more than 300 people over the past three weeks, AP says.

Biologists are blaming climate change and overfishing for the jellyfish increase.

Photo J>Ro, flickr
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