Warnings have been issued for holidaymakers visiting the south east coast to be on the lookout for swarms of Lions Mane jellyfish, after large numbers have been seen recently off the Cornish coast. The Lions Mane jellyfish can grow up to 8ft and have a toxic sting that causes muscle paralysis, which can lead to suffocation and heart attack.

The jellyfish are normally found in cooler waters which are further north in the Arctic and northern Atlantic oceans but because of the colder winter the seas further south have become cold enough for them, experts also believe that the flourishing plankton in the south eastern coastal areas, which is a key food source for jellyfish have lured the creatures.

A spokesman for the Royal National Lifeboat Institution said they were aware of the danger and advised beach users to be careful, because the Lion’s Mane can give a potent sting although the sting itself is not fatal it can cause blisters and severe muscular cramp, which can affect the respiratory system and heart function.

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