The beaches of Southern California are know for their clear water, perfect weather, and clean sand, but visitors over the past few weeks are having something else catch their eye.
Thousands of slimy, blue creatures resembling jellyfish are washing in from the water and taking residence along the water’s edge.
Researchers say this isn’t the first time these animals have washed up on the shore, in fact its a near annual occurrence, but there’s significantly more than in years past, which has drawn the public’s curious eye.
According to Point Reyes National Seashore, these animals are called velella velella, cousins of the jellyfish.
“Velella velella are flat, oval-shaped hydroid polyps (cousins of the jellyfish) that live in the open ocean but are often seen washed up on beaches in Point Reyes National Seashore, in the spring and early summer months when strong winds push them ashore.
They have a firm and upright triangular sail attached to their body which causes them to be caught up by the wind and blown across the surface of the water, giving them their name “By-the-Wind Sailors.”
So now we know what they are, but what about the tail of dangerous looking tenacles that hang from beneath them?
Apparently, there’s nothing to worry about.
“Don’t worry about those little blue tentacles that hang from their body! These tentacles don’t sting humans but will gather up plenty of zooplankton or fish eggs for them to eat”
So there you have it.
Not some alien invasion or sea-creature uprising. Just a good old fashion migration of the By-The-Wind-Sailors.