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Warm weather brings jellyfish to Estonian shores

Thousands of jellyfish have visited Estonia's shores this month due to the unusually hot August weather.

The Moon or Common Jellyfish (Aurelia aurita), the only native type in the Baltic Sea, has excited beach-goers.

The majority have flocked to Estonia from the southern part of the sea as temperatures have risen. It is common to see them around the coast in the second half of August.

"There can sometimes be even more of them in the open sea. Where they can be seen by the human eye depends on the direction of the wind and the movement of the water. It also depends on the water temperature - the warmer it is the faster they grow and the quicker they move," University of Tartu marine biologist Arno Põllumäe said. "This year there is an exceptional amount of them again."

However, unlike their relatives in the Mediterranean, there is no need to fear the visitors.

"The jellyfish is completely safe. They do have stinging cellsbut they do not do anything to human skin," said Põllumäe.

An adult jellyfish can measure up to 20 centimeters in diameter and is transparent with a pink tinge. Females often have the strongest color, Põllumäe said.

Hundreds of jellyfish were spotted in Lahepere Bay in Laulasmaa earlier this week, the Elu24 website reported.

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Editor: Helen Wright

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