Crazy Cannonballs! Thousands of cannonball jellyfish are washing up along our South Carolina Coast

The jellies are here! The jellies are here! Thousands of cannonball jellyfish are washing up along the beaches of our South Carolina Coast.

These incredible photos and videos were taken by Hilton Head resident Kate Knisley and show us just how many landed on our beaches this week. Kate was walking down the beach in Sea Pines down Brown pelican road by Tower Beach when she noticed all the jellies.

“Yesterday I decided to take my two-year-old daughter to the beach in her stroller at high tide and immediately had to turn around because there was nowhere to walk. Being a local I had never seen anything like this. There were definitely thousands. It was amazing and a little intimidating at the same time.” says local resident Kate Knisley.

These sea jellies experienced a tidal upwelling at high tide. This typically occurs 8-10 days after a full moon. These ocean drifters are at the mercy of the currents and are actually quite predictable.
These cannonball jellyfish are the most common jellyfish in our area according to the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources and fortunately, one of the least venomous. During the summer and fall, large numbers of this species appear near the coast and in the mouths of estuaries. Cannonball jellies have round white bells bordered below by a brown or purple band. They have no tentacles, but they do have a firm, chunky feeding apparatus formed by the joining of the oral arms. Cannonballs rarely grow larger than 8-10 inches in diameter. Commercial trawl fishermen consider them pests because they clog and damage nets, and slow down fishing.
Amazing videos provided to ESPB by local HHI resident Kate Knisley