HAMILTON, BERMUDA – Giant mutant jellyfish are terrorizing residents of this tropical island – and dozens of human swimmers have died in agony in their poisonous tentacles!
Scientists believe the freak Portuguese man-of-wars, which measure up to 200 feet in length, are the product of radioactive leaks from a wrecked Soviet sub located a few hundred miles east of here. The enormous mutants first appeared off the island three weeks ago and are believed to be drifting in strong ocean currents towards the east coast of the United States.
“These monsters have overcome porpoises, human swimmers and whales – and even attacked small fishing boats and yachts,” says Calvin Peabody, a marine biologist stationed at the island’s center for oceanic studies. “They are extremely dangerous.
“We have done aerial surveys in the past few days and have counted more than 200 of the jellyfish in the water. We are warning pleasure boaters to stay away and recommending against all night swimming or diving until we know the extent of the problem.”
According to Dr. Peabody and other authorities, at least 27 people have perished over the past few weeks in attacks by the creatures, which entrap victims in their long, sticky tentacles and paralyze and kill them with a fiery, burning poison contained in the deadly strands.
At least eight of the dead were found entwined in the killer tentacles of the purplish blue jellyfish. The other victims were found afloat or washed ashore on beaches, marked with welts and burns obviously inflicted by jellyfish attacks.
“Our experts are of the opinion that radiation leaks from the sunken sub have for some reason triggered a growth change in the man-of-wars, producing these giant mutants,” Dr. Peabody says. “We know that a Yankee-class Russian sub sank there seven years ago and recently broke up, leaving high levels of radiation from nuclear equipment into an area of strong currents.”
Dr. Peabody says marine patrols have succeeded in blasting scores of the creatures out of the water, but they are hard to spot at night. “We are most concerned about what else this radioactive leak is creating. Suppose it produces giant mutant sharks or eels or stingrays.”
The patrol is attempting to eliminate the threat as quickly as possible so as to summer tourist crowd, already diminished by the global financial crisis.