Blue jellyfish-like critters arrive in Bay Area. When will they show up on SoCal beaches?

Strange Spring Visitors — gelatinous sea creatures known as sailors of the wind, or Berera Bereras— Thousands of people are arriving on Bay Area beaches. Expect to see them sailing to Southern California beaches soon.

The small jellyfish-like creatures have a deep blue hue and sails that allow them to glide across the ocean’s surface. Once it reaches the beach, it loses its pigment and dries out. However, don’t worry, they do not sting humans like jellyfish do.

During this period, the population increases rapidly due to rising ocean temperatures, and large numbers of animals wash up on the shore. So far this year, they haven’t been seen on Southern California beaches, but experts at the Aquarium of the Pacific expect them to show up in the coming months.

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“If we just had a stroke of luck and the wind was going in the right direction and the ocean currents were going in the right direction, all of these animals would be blown onto the beach,” said Josh Wagner, who studies sea jellyfish at the aquarium. he said. long sandy beach. “They’re basically putting up big sails and being at the mercy of the wind.”

As the ocean warms in the spring, more nutrients become available in the water, leading to a significant reproduction of organisms. Berera Bererassaid Wagner. Human-induced climate change could also contribute to the increase in numbers, he said, as the oceans get warmer.

“Climate change will accelerate these processes because it gets warmer faster and nutrients increase,” Wagner said.

Sailor on the Wind is a member of the jellyfish family, but is not a true jellyfish, he says. Each blue “raft” is made up of multiple organisms with specialized functions such as feeding and reproduction. Before they attach to the surface, they live underwater as tiny creatures known as jellyfish, Wagner said.

read more: Decaying gray whale washes up on Orange County beach

Wagner says many of the sailors who are blown ashore by the wind die, but they are likely already breeding thousands of jellyfish and leaving them in the ocean.

“It doesn’t affect their population,” he said of the beaching phenomenon. These creatures don’t appear on beaches every year, but they have become more frequent in recent years.

Wagner advised beachgoers not to touch the beached sea creature, which turns out to be a Portuguese soldier, as the sting could leave a scar.

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This story originally appeared in the Los Angeles Times.

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