Masses of small bluish jelly-fish animals have been washing up and covering beaches along the California coast.
The sea creatures are called velella velellas and commonly called by-the wind sailors or sailor jellyfish because they float with the currents and have distinguishing floats that peak above the water’s surface, according to the Daily Mail.
The velella velella travel with the wind and can wash ashore in large numbers when winds and warm coastal currents combine to strand them on beaches, according to the Daily Breeze.
But it is unclear what the vast number of velella velellas washing ashore recently means.
“The numbers, if you extrapolate, are awe inspiring. With some of my students we counted more than a thousand per meter. The numbers get astronomical pretty fast,” said Kevin Raskoff, a biology professor at Monterey Peninsula College, according to Scpr.org.
While the sailor jellyfish are similar to normal jellyfish, they do not deliver painful stings to humans. They float together in masses and feed on plankton.
Source: Daily Mail, Daily Breeze, spcr.org