Velella velella creatures are back on Oregon beaches

Layers of purple sea creatures line coast

NEWPORT, Ore. -- The blue tide of slimy Velella velella organisms have returned to Oregon beaches.

(Note: The video with this story was produced a year ago.)

The creatures are pushed on to shore by west winds and ocean conditions have to be just right. They are not dangerous, according to the Oregon Coast Aquarium.

"During such conditions, it isn’t uncommon to see miles and miles of Oregon beach carpeted with stinking heaps of Velella, which quickly die and decay on shore, turning from a metallic blue to a lifeless white," said Aquarium spokesman Peter Pearsall.

The creatures feed mainly on plankton, he said. They have barb-tipped tentacles. Their venom may be harmful to tiny sea animals but harmless to humans, he said.

That said, it's not a good idea to pick up touch anything on the beach that looks like a jellyfish, he said.

© 2017 KGW-TV


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