A Year In New York

A Daily Bite of the Big Apple

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Day 66: The Atlantic’s New Sting

September 1st · 1 Comment

So far the closest Joo and I have come to the Atlantic is the grilled red snapper we ordered from Spice Thai. To address our saltwater deficiency we boarded the LIRR, and one hour out of Penn Station we stood ankle deep in the fine, powdery sand of Long Beach, wondering why nobody was in the water.

When we waded in we found the answer. Glistening disks of jellyfish lay on the sand and pink ones dotted the shallows. The bottom of my foot started to itch, and then a spot behind my knee.

We retreated to our beach towel and I walked over to the lifeguard to ask. These blooms of jellyfish, whose stings are much like a honeybee’s, are more common than ever now in the Long Island summer. Worldwide, Jellyfish are drifting ashore in multitudes, closing beaches in Spain, Australia and Hawaii, ruining fisheries in Ireland and Japan. They flourish in the warmer water that accompanies global warming. We humans have taken their natural predators, the big fish like tuna, from the water and turned them into sushi.

Denied the pleasure of swimming in the water I could do nothing but look and wonder at what we’ve done. When one of Long Beach’s waves reared up you could see the jellyfish backlit, like flies in amber, viewed at their moment of ascendancy.

Tags: Deep Thoughts · Getaways

1 response so far ↓

  • 1 Sulley // Sep 1, 2008 at 9:47 pm

    Jellyfish are complete savages and need to be reined in with a little of their own ruthless bloodlust.

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