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Blue Sea Creatures Washing Ashore in La Jolla? Here’s What Those Weird Blobs Are

If you’ve seen strange blue sea creatures washed up on the shores of La Jolla, you aren’t alone. California has seen a recent influx of the jelly-like blobs washing ashore.

Last week, the creatures — known as Velella velella or by-the-wind sailors — washed onto California beaches in the millions, according to KTLA. While many of them appeared on beaches further north, there has certainly been an uptick in sightings in San Diego.

The blue sea creatures may look like jellyfish but are more closely related to the Portuguese Man o’ War. Despite the scary association, by-the-wind sailors are harmless to humans.

As far as why the blue sea creatures are washing along California beaches like La Jolla Shores, oceanography experts say that it’s because of the wind.

Mostly, these blue sea creatures eat certain types of plankton and fish larvae. They don’t have any major predators in water or on land because they carry a specific type of toxin and have very little substance.

Image courtesy of Zhengan/wikimedia.org

The by-the-wind sailors don’t always show up on beaches in California, or San Diego more specifically. Although they generally appear in the late spring or late fall, the blue sea creatures are not an annual occurrence.

If you’re walking along any La Jolla Beaches in the near future, you should definitely look down and try to spot any blue or clear blobs. They’re an uncommon phenomenon, which makes discovering them on your beach walk so exciting.

La Jolla Cove and La Jolla Shores are excellent spots for marine exploration, which is why snorkeling in La Jolla should be at the top of your bucket list. Want to see interesting sea creatures without getting wet? Check out the 5 weirdest sea creatures you’ll see at the Birch Aquarium.

Banner image courtesy of Evan Baldonado / AquariumKids.org.