walkers and bathers who took to Kirkcaldy’s Seafield beach to enjoy the sunshine at the weekend were met by the sight of hundreds of pink jellyfish.
A bloom of moon jellyfish, the most common species, was found washed up on the sand, while there were thousands more in the waters and beaches along the coast.
It is believed the influx may have been caused by a rise in the temperature of the water out at sea, along with a prevailing wind blowing them inland, but the exact cause is not known.
Torness Power Station was forced to closeboth its reactors last week after jellyfish began clogging up the water filters.
Robbie Blyth, Fife Council’s beaches and coastal officer, explained: “This is quite a common occurrence. The jellyfish are fairly harmless to people, although they can sting if you stand on them.
“It usually happens every couple of years and we would advise the public to leave them well alone.”
His advice was echoed by Stuart Bonnar, a countryside ranger, who said: “I went to Seafield beach on Tuesday morning and there are still lots of jellyfish lying around on the beach.
‘‘The speculation is that it is rising sea temperatures that is causing this influx, and this is quite a common occurrence in late summer, but not usually this early.
“Jellyfish are just carried by the water currents and I suspect this will be happening right up the coast.
“These are moon jellyfish which are named because if you look down on them you can see four circular moon shapes which are their reproductive organs.
‘‘It looks as if there could be around 1000 lying around here – some of them are quite small and they are all dead.
“Jellyfish can still sting after they are dead and the sting is in their tentacles underneath their bodies, so I would advise people not to touch them.
‘‘The sting is not serious, but it can still cause an itchy rash.
“The seagulls will eat them and because they are mostly water, they will just dry out.
“It looks like the worst may be over now, but, because we don’t know exactly why it happens, we can’t say it won’t happen again.”