Jellyfish in Tel Aviv: When and How to Deal With Them

The Israeli summer usually begins in June. And along with the crazy heat and humidity, there are also jellyfish. The nomad jellyfish are the most common ones arriving to the shores of Tel Aviv and other seaside citiesAnd they absolutely LOVE the warm and pleasant water in Israel, just like we do! 

The “Meduzot B’Am” project has created a great interactive map that shows the latest jellyfish sightings along the Israeli coast. Unfortunately, the map is only in Hebrew. Wherever you see a red jellyfish on the map, it means that there are stinging jellyfish over there.

Recommended read >> Free things to do in Tel Aviv.

This is how the Jellyfish Map looks (screenshot from Meduzot B'am)

When is the jellyfish season in Israel?

You can expect to see jellyfish from June to August. Usually, the jellyfish start appearing along the Israeli coastline in June, but sometimes the season starts later. From the first sighting, they stay about four weeks in the area.

Do the jellyfish sting?

Yes, they sting. The nomad jellyfish usually come in a swarm. At the peak of the season, about 2-3 weeks after the first jellyfish sighting, it’s hard to swim without getting stung. Also, the jellyfish are not so good at swimming. They go with the flow, which sometimes carries them to the shore. Even there, they can sting you. So stay away from any jellyfish you see, whether in the water or on the beach.

They don’t even have to sting you. You can get a skin rash from just swimming next to the jellyfish. Nobody has died from a jellyfish sting in Israel, but you should still be careful because getting stung isn’t a fun experience.

What should you do if a jellyfish stings you?

If you don’t want to get stung, try to avoid the jellyfish as much as possible! If you do get stung by a jellyfish – the Israeli Health Department recommends you do the following steps:

  • Get out of the water and use a plastic stick or bag to get the jellyfish remains off your body.
  • Wash the affected area with seawater.
  • Afterward, wash the affected area with a strong and direct flow of tap water for a couple of minutes. Do not touch the area.
  • If there’s a first aid station on the beach, you can go there for further medical assistance. If you experience symptoms that aren’t a simple skin rash, you must immediately visit a medical center. These rare symptoms could include a breathing problem or weakness, and the affected area might change to blue.

Things you should not do

  • Do not rub the affected area. This action might help the venom penetrate your skin and worsen the situation. 
  • Do not rub the affected area with alcohol. 
  • Do not pee on the affected area. Unlike what people thought a few years back, new studies say it doesn’t help and might even worsen the pain.
  • Do not use vinegar. A new study says that vinegar could make the sting worse. 

Does this mean you should avoid the beach?

No! Go to the Israeli beaches. They are beautiful and a great place to hang out in the sun. Just keep an eye out for those jellyfish, especially at the season peak! 🙂

More about the nomad jellyfish

Until the 1970s, the nomad jellyfish were found only in the tropical waters of the Indian and Pacific Oceans. But then those adventurous jellyfish decided to cross through the Suez Canal and invade the Mediterranean Sea. Since then, they have called the Mediterranean their home. During the winter months, they hide somewhere deep in the sea. When the water temperature rises in the summer, they start making their way toward the shores.

More about the Meduzot B’Am project

The “Meduzot B’Am” (in Hebrew, “Jellyfish Ltd”) project, a citizen-led initiative, was founded by Dr. Dor Edelist and Dr. Dror Angel, both marine ecologists. This project allows people from all over Israel to report jellyfish sightings along the coast, aiding in tracking the movement of the swarms. The project is a win-win situation for both swimmers and ecologists. Swimmers gain the advantage of knowing which areas to avoid, ensuring their safety, and can access fascinating information about jellyfish provided by experts. Ecologists, on the other hand, can utilize the data collected to deepen their understanding of jellyfish and their migration traits.

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Have a safe and enjoyable time at the beach!

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the #1 Itinerary July 14, 2019 - 11:24 am
Great post :)
backpackisrael July 14, 2019 - 11:37 am
Thanks ?
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