Thứ Sáu, Tháng Sáu 9, 2023
HomeNewsWhat are these blue creatures washing up on Southern California beaches?

What are these blue creatures washing up on Southern California beaches?

Thousands of dark blue creatures have washed ashore at beaches across the state, littering shorelines and confusing passersby from Marin to Orange County.

The flat, oval creatures with small blue tentacles may look like tiny jellyfish but are in fact hydroids known as Velella velella, more commonly known as “sailors in the wind”.

With a sturdy, transparent sail running across the upper part of the body, sea creatures move in great numbers over the high seas, adrift with the help of winds that have most recently pushed their cargo. thousands of them to the beaches of California.

Nona Reimer, a former teacher who now works as a tourist educator with the company, said that on Sunday, hundreds of Velella velellas swarmed the sides of a boat filled with second-grade whale watchers just nearby. Dana Point on a cruise with Dana Wharf Whale watching.

“We’re seeing hundreds, maybe thousands,” she said. “It’s unusual to see them in numbers like this.”

In Monday, California State Park reports that invertebrates have washed ashore on Crystal Cove in Newport Beach, and sailboat wrecks have been discovered as far north as Point Reyes National Seashore, north of San Francisco. They have also been spotted in San Clemente, Manhattan Beach, and along other Southern California beaches.

Small numbers of these animals often wash ashore unnoticed during the spring and summer, but Bruno Pernet, a professor of biological sciences at Cal State Long Beach, says that every few years, waking conditions feeding will cause their numbers to increase and the wind will push them ashore.

“This is not unusual, but it happens every few years,” he said.

The small animals are completely dependent on winds, currents and food supplies, and conditions sometimes carry them along the coasts of Northern and Southern California, Pernet said. Warmer water can help provide them with more food.

Scientists believe these animals may have achieved the dark green color as a camouflage from predators.

Pernet says wind sailors are related to jellyfish and Portuguese warriors, which can produce painful stings, but whose tentacles are mostly harmless.

However, officials warn that tolerance can vary from person to person, so it’s best not to touch the tentacles if they are discovered in the sand.

Pernet also points out that animals are known to be “right- or left-handed” – that is, their sails point slightly in one direction or another. They also tend to congregate in the same group, so it is likely that the groups of sailors who have encountered the wind ashore in recent days have mostly been right- or left-handed.

During a trip on Saturday, Reimer, who became known as Nona the Naturalist, made a note on Instagram that hundreds of Velella velella have been discovered in the water, attracting other animals looking to eat them and getting closer to shore.

It had been four or five years since she last remembered a large number of them near the shore.

“Water is also filled with hundreds of these creatures,” she said in video posted on saturday, where she is seen holding them by the clear sail. “They have stinging cells on tentacles that hang down when they’re above the water, so if you see them on the beach you can hold them by sail.”

Source link


Most Popular