Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Velella Velellas washed ashore onto West Coast beaches, Pacifica too

 CBS 5 KPIX/ SF Bay Area, "Thousands of Jellyfish-like creatures wash up on Pacifica beaches."

Seeing these at the beach lately?
"PACIFICA (CBS SF) — The beaches in Pacifica were glimmering blue after thousands of jellyfish-like creatures washed up on shore earlier last week. The creatures known as Vellela Vallela are a close relative of the jellyfish, but don’t sting. They have a small sail that peoples them over the surface of the ocean, earning them the nickname ‘By the Wind Sailor.’ When winds shift onshore, the creatures blow up onto beaches."

RelatedSF Gate Blog/Hamed Alezais, 7/30/14. "What are those brilliant blue creatures washing up on California beaches?" A small, blue, eye-catching creature has made a dramatic appearance at several beaches along the Northern California coast. Twitter users along the coast — in Monterey, Humboldt County, San Francisco and elsewhere — have posted photos of an animal known as the velella velella since the middle of July. Sightings of the creature have come from as far as Oregon. For years, sightings of velellas have prompted baffled reactions. In 2002, millions of velellas clumped up along the Bay Area coastline and U.S. Coast Guard members at first mistook the species for an oil spill."

Related Bay Nature. "By the Wind" sailors: seasonal Velella beaching mystery solved." "Velella velella - translucent blue jellyfish-like creatures - are sometimes found scattered across Bay Area beaches when offshore winds change direction. .... Every spring and summer, millions of these intriguing critters wash ashore and die along the western coast of North America. The limp, soggy pieces of blue protoplasm elicit more curiosity than any other bit of flotsam along the California coast. Last month the beaches along the entire central coast received one of the first shipments of Velella velella. An oil slick reported off of Santa Cruz proved to be acres and acres of floating Velellas. Beaches are now littered with their bodies. .... The animal is easy to identify. It averages two inches across its flattened oval body and has a prominent sail. This flexible, triangular projection catches the wind and can move the animal quickly along the water even in a gentle zephyr. It is this remarkable ability that inspired early mariners to christen it the “By-the-wind Sailor.” Velella is in the same phylum as anemones, corals, jellyfish and hydroids."

Reference Pacific Coast JelliesZone.  Wikipedia,"Velella". UC Channel/"Blue animals Velella velella"/Cristina Gioia Di Camillo, 5/6/11, You Tube/4:38 minutes.

Note:  photograph from Was this really a sharp idea? blog, "Logan turns 10!"
Posted by Kathy Meeh


Anonymous said...

Jellyfish swim or float or propel them selves thru the water, these sit on the top of the water and reach down to grab food.

The southerly wind and subtropical storms and weather pattern we are in have moved them up here from down south.

Hutch said...

We should hold a Velella Velella festival every year. Fried Velella Velella. Velella Velella races. Velella Velella chowder. mmmmm.