Jelly-like creatures create ‘blue tide’ on Oregon coast
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — The Oregon coast is once again seeing a “blue tide” of creatures called velella velella, which often wash shore this time of year.
The Oregonian/OregonLive reports The Oregon Coast Aquarium announced Friday that the jelly-like organisms had arrived on Oregon beaches, in some places covering the sand in a carpet of blueish purple.
Aquarium officials say visitors should expect to see them for the next few weeks though they’ll soon begin to decay and turn translucent, creating a foul smell on the beach.
The jelly-like organisms use clear, triangular sails to travel across the surface of the ocean, drifting where the breeze takes them.
Velella velella were originally classified as a jelly, but researchers have since recognized the creature as a unique species of hydrozoan, a class of predatory salt water animals.
Information from: The Oregonian/OregonLive, http://www.oregonlive.com