SAN DIEGO - San Diego shores are being visited by a dangerous tourist: the rare, black jellyfish.
The sea creatures have been spotted infesting local beaches from Ocean Beach to La Jolla, according to lifeguards.
More encounters over the weekend have also led to a spike in stings in the past few days.
"The waves pit them against the beach and they start breaking up into thousands of pieces," explained Lt. Andy Lerum, who is with San Diego Lifeguards. "That would make a mess of a swimming area."
"I've been stung seven times in one swim," one swimmer told 10News. "There are hundreds of them at Mission Beach."
Surfers say going into the water is like playing a game of dodgeball.
"Every 30 seconds, I'll see one floating by, and I'll freak out and go away," said James Ennis.
Lifeguards say jellyfish sightings this time of year are not unusual, since warmer waters bring the sea creatures closer to shore. But it is the rare black sea nettles Lerum says he has not seen in years.
10News found several YouTube videos posted online of black jellyfish sightings in the past week.
Lerum said the jump in encounters is also due to the fact that more people are out in the water during summer months.