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Unusual Blob-Like Sea Creatures Found Washing Ashore Along Southern California Coast

Unusual Blob-Like Sea Creatures (Credits: KTLA)

Bizarre sea creatures known as by-the-wind sailors (Velella velella) have returned to Southern California waters, a year after millions were spotted in the area.

These oval-shaped blobs live on the ocean’s surface, propelled by small sails that catch wind and currents, allowing them to travel globally. They use their stinging tentacles to catch prey, and are often pushed towards the California coast by spring storms.

Unusual Blob-Like Sea Creatures (Credits: KTLA)

Last year, Californians flocked to local beaches to see the creatures, and in 2014 and 2015, trillions of them washed up along the eastern Pacific coast.

By-the-wind sailors are a type of hydrozoa that feed on plankton and resemble the Portuguese man o’ war, but their stings are considered mild to humans. However, water recreationists are advised to avoid crowds of them.

Meanwhile, ocean sunfish (Mola mola) are thrilled to have the by-the-wind sailors in the area, as they feed on them. Sea birds and sea turtles also prey on them, but their venom and lack of meat make them unappealing to other predators.

Blobs wash ashore in Pacific Beach (Credits:

Recently, hundreds of by-the-wind sailors have been spotted, and images show ocean sunfish feasting on them. The thousands of by-the-wind sailors that have appeared in California will either be eaten, pulled back into the ocean, or die and rot away on the surface.

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