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Tags: jellyfish | northwest | velella velella | beach | millions

Jellyfish in the Northwest? Millions of Gooey Creatures Wash Up on Shore

By    |   Monday, 20 April 2015 01:58 PM EDT

Jellyfish-like creatures known as Velella Velella washed up on beaches in the Pacific Northwest by the millions over the past month.

"It looks pretty messy," Washington state beachgoer Tim O'Cain, who was visiting with his grandkids, told KOMO News late last week.

He said the tiny creatures were "really gooey," and that he "thought they looked like a muscle, until you got up close to them."

The Velella Velella are relatives of the jellyfish, and don't pose a threat to humans, experts say. They do give off a mild neurotoxin, however, and beachgoers have been warned not to tread through them with bare feet.

Most wouldn't likely want to, as the smell they give off as they begin to decay is far from pleasant.

With their bluish color and cute sail-fin, however, they are beautiful to look at.

"They're really kind of pretty," said Terri Michel, city recorder for Rockaway Beach, reported The Oregonian.

Bill Hanshumaker, a senior instructor at the Hatfield Marine Science Center and chief scientist for Oregon Sea Grant, said that the little marine animals normally live far out in the sea, floating in giant packs wherever the wind and the currents take them.

But sometimes those currents run them aground on the beaches of California, Oregon, and Washington, as they have this year.



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TheWire
Jellyfish-like creatures known as Velella Velella washed up on beaches in the Pacific Northwest by the millions over the past month.
jellyfish, northwest, velella velella, beach, millions
220
2015-58-20
Monday, 20 April 2015 01:58 PM
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