Quantcast
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

Deep blue jellyfish wash ashore in Ocean Beach

Wash your hands if you touch velella

These carnivorous creatures catch their prey by tentacles filled with toxins.
These carnivorous creatures catch their prey by tentacles filled with toxins.

Chances are, if you walk along the shore in Ocean Beach, you’ll notice an influx of Velella, aka sea-raft, by-the-wind-sailors, purple sail or sometimes, blue jelly-fish.

“Because of this unique body architecture with that sail projecting above the water, they are subject to surface winds and wind driven currents.”

Usually deep-blue in color, they live on the surface of the ocean using a tiny stiff sail that leaves them at the mercy of the wind. These carnivorous creatures catch their prey by tentacles filled with toxins that hang into the water below them. Once beached, they die and turn translucent, exposing their intricately designed system.

“These animals are truly what we call passive drifters,” Linsey Sala from the Scripps Institute of Oceanography told me. “They have no other means of locomotion so they are really at the mercy of the prevailing winds and currents and therefore can be subject to these types of mass strandings.”

For example, in April, Oregon welcomed the ‘blue-tide’ due to the proliferation of the Velella-Vellela.

Although there is no way to predict mass stranding’s of Velella-especially to the extent that Oregon has seen, it is not uncommon in the Spring and Summer months for them to wash ashore in San Diego.

“They typically reproduce in the deep sea over the winter and then this surface dwelling hydranth stage is commonly seen in the Eastern Pacific including the coastlines of San Diego during the spring and summer months when food is more abundant…from their presence, we appear to be experiencing some level of shoreward flow.” Sala explained. “Because of this unique body architecture with that sail projecting above the water and no other means of locomotion, they are subject to surface winds and wind driven currents.”

It’s important to note, wash your hands if you touch one, the Velella contain toxins, just like jellyfish, and may cause skin irritation.

“These animals do possess stinging cells and neurotoxins to shock and capture their small zooplankton prey,” continued Sala.

Oddly enough, one of the main predators of Velella is the “purple” snail aka the Janthina that washed ashore in March.

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all

Previous article

Is Midway the new Soccer City?

Fresh chapter unfolds in San Diego's well-lobbied Sports Arena muddle
Next Article

The unsinkable Linda Broyles

“I mean, when they said I couldn’t go home, I could see Coronado!”
These carnivorous creatures catch their prey by tentacles filled with toxins.
These carnivorous creatures catch their prey by tentacles filled with toxins.

Chances are, if you walk along the shore in Ocean Beach, you’ll notice an influx of Velella, aka sea-raft, by-the-wind-sailors, purple sail or sometimes, blue jelly-fish.

“Because of this unique body architecture with that sail projecting above the water, they are subject to surface winds and wind driven currents.”

Usually deep-blue in color, they live on the surface of the ocean using a tiny stiff sail that leaves them at the mercy of the wind. These carnivorous creatures catch their prey by tentacles filled with toxins that hang into the water below them. Once beached, they die and turn translucent, exposing their intricately designed system.

“These animals are truly what we call passive drifters,” Linsey Sala from the Scripps Institute of Oceanography told me. “They have no other means of locomotion so they are really at the mercy of the prevailing winds and currents and therefore can be subject to these types of mass strandings.”

For example, in April, Oregon welcomed the ‘blue-tide’ due to the proliferation of the Velella-Vellela.

Although there is no way to predict mass stranding’s of Velella-especially to the extent that Oregon has seen, it is not uncommon in the Spring and Summer months for them to wash ashore in San Diego.

“They typically reproduce in the deep sea over the winter and then this surface dwelling hydranth stage is commonly seen in the Eastern Pacific including the coastlines of San Diego during the spring and summer months when food is more abundant…from their presence, we appear to be experiencing some level of shoreward flow.” Sala explained. “Because of this unique body architecture with that sail projecting above the water and no other means of locomotion, they are subject to surface winds and wind driven currents.”

It’s important to note, wash your hands if you touch one, the Velella contain toxins, just like jellyfish, and may cause skin irritation.

“These animals do possess stinging cells and neurotoxins to shock and capture their small zooplankton prey,” continued Sala.

Oddly enough, one of the main predators of Velella is the “purple” snail aka the Janthina that washed ashore in March.

Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

Vista City Attorney and James Buss donate to Trump campaign

Chula Vista's Jill Galvez barred from voting on fire trucks
Next Article

Building paradise in San Diego

Mission Valley, Tijuana gardens, Otay Mesa, downtown skyscrapers, One Paseo, Rancho Santa Fe mansion
Comments
0

Be the first to leave a comment.

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Art Reviews — W.S. Di Piero's eye on exhibits Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Best Buys — San Diego shopping Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits City Lights — News and politics Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Famous Former Neighbors — Next-door celebs Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town Here's the Deal — Chad Deal's watering holes Just Announced — The scoop on shows Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Of Note — Concert picks Out & About — What's Happening Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Pour Over — Grab a cup Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer News — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Set 'em Up Joe — Bartenders' drink recipes Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Sports — Athletics without gush Street Style — San Diego streets have style Suit Up — Fashion tips for dudes Theater Reviews — Local productions Theater antireviews — Narrow your search Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Waterfront — All things ocean Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close