Thousands of jellyfish swarm Ashkelon power station
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Thousands of jellyfish swarm Ashkelon power station

Sea turtle returned to water after also swimming into facility; invertebrates are threat to power supply as they get sucked in as stations use sea water for cooling

Thousands of jellyfish at the Ashkelon power station, July 10, 2020 (Screen grab/Channel 13 news)
Thousands of jellyfish at the Ashkelon power station, July 10, 2020 (Screen grab/Channel 13 news)

With public swimming pools shut due to coronavirus regulations, Israelis have flocked to the beaches.

However, they are not alone in swarming the coast — thousands of jellyfish had to be cleaned out of the Ashkelon power station on Thursday evening.

The jellyfish were moved into dedicated tanks, Channel 13 news reported, and didn’t cause any damage to the facility.

A sea turtle was found among the tentacled creatures, and was returned to the waters.

Sea turtle is returned to the water after getting stuck at the Ashkelon power station, July 10, 2020 (Screen grab/Channel 13 news)

Jellyfish are a threat to Israel’s power supply as they get sucked into the country’s power stations, which uses sea water for cooling.

Most of the jellyfish that visit Israel are migratory, invasive species that originated in the Indian Ocean and that apparently reached the eastern Mediterranean via the Suez Canal.

Jellyfish tentacles can sting and inject venom into humans, which usually results in mild to serious discomfort but in certain rare cases can lead to extreme pain or even death.

While jellyfish have swarmed to Israel’s Mediterranean coast for decades, scientists understand little about the rules according to which they live and move and find it difficult to predict when the swarms will appear, which species they will be and how long they will stay.

A digger drops hundreds of jellyfish crated away after being fished out of the cooling water supply at a power plant in the Israeli Mediterranean coastal city of Hadera, north of Tel Aviv, on June 27, 2017. (AFP PHOTO / JACK GUEZ)

In 2016, University of Haifa researchers looked at when a power station was most badly affected by the jellyfish and correlated it with the moon and water temperatures, concluding there was a link between the annual arrival of the sea creatures and the phase of the moon.

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