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Thousands of Unusual Jellyfish-Like Creatures Wash Ashore to Monterey Bay

Velella

Image credit: Bettina Walter, “Velella velella,” via Flickr. CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Recently when you go to the Monterey Bay, you would be surprised to see an amazing sight there, because thousands of electric blue, glass-like sea creatures are scattered on the beach, as they are swept ashore by the wind.

Called as Velella velella, such weird cnidarians, corals and jellyfish,   fall into the diverse phylum of animals. Generally they are seen to float on the surface of warm and temperate oceans. Although people tread along the coast carefully, these creatures are not dangerous with their unharmful stings.

Velella-2

Image credit: Velella, via Wikimedia Commons.

With an erect triangular sail and a flat, transparent float, they are able to make better use of the wind. It is normal to see them to be washed up along beaches in late spring/early summer after they bloom, but as Nancy Black, the marine biologist says, it is nearly eight years since they were seen last time in the area. The reason why they make their presence now and later in the year than usual still puzzles scientists. However Rich Mooi, the scientist who is very interested in this phenomenon, assesses it does not necessarily indicate that there is something going wrong with the ocean.

Velella_Sicily

Image credit: Wilson44691, via Wikimedia Commons.

In addition, according to Mooi’s statement, the fact that the sheer number of velellas are drying up and dying on the beaches might look alarming, but the number of velellas scattering across our oceans is so huge that it would not cause the extinction of the species.

Velella_on_beach

Velella washed ashore back in 2004. Image credit: Dan, via Wikimedia Commons.

If you want to know more about Velella, you could go watch this YouTube video:

Source: LA Times, Mercury News, and ABC30

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