By-the-wind-sailors are blown up on island’s shores


Known as the wind sailor because of its distinctive sail, this creature is only a few centimeters long but could be spotted all the way from Locane Bay to Shwe.

This animal is not a true jellyfish, but a colonial hydroid consisting of a colony of small individual animals, similar to the Portuguese man-oval.

Local marine biologist Richard Lord said they are often found in large numbers on local beaches.

“They are harmless but interesting animals,” he said.

“We see them often, but they usually wash ashore in the fall, so it’s a little unusual to see them this time of year.”

Wind sailors, also known as veleras, typically live in the open ocean offshore.

Thanks to its sails, this creature catches wind and moves with ocean currents, and uses its stinging tentacles to prey on young fish and other small animals.

However, they are completely at the mercy of the wind, so it’s common for hundreds, or even thousands, to be found washed ashore after a storm.

The direction of the sail along the float determines which direction the sailor will travel on the wind.

If the sail runs along the float from northwest to southeast, it will flow to the left of the wind direction, and if the sail runs from southwest to northeast, it will flow to the right of the wind direction.

Lord studied abroad in California, but said the numbers there were paltry compared to there.

“Like their close relatives, jellyfish, they can thrive for years in areas where their numbers are rapidly increasing,” he says.

“In California, the bluer the coast, the more they appear in abundance.”



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