Jellyfish in South Florida: Hundreds of Creatures Flood Beaches


    Jellyfish began washing up on South Florida beaches by the hundreds last week, forcing spring break visitors to watch their step. While the small, purplish Velella velella jellyfish — also known as Blue Sailors or By-the-Wind Sailors — do not sting (though they bear a striking resemblance to Portuguese man-of-war), Hallandale Beach lifeguards warned beachgoers about their presence and urged them to be careful none-the-less, according to the Sun-Sentinel.

    The Velella velella normally float on the surface in the open ocean, riding wind and water currents in search of food using a short of a hardened, triangular “sail,” according to National Geographic. In years when the wind changes direction, they are pushed toward shore where they usually die.

    They are cousins to their stinging family member, the Portuguese man-of-war, catching mostly plankton for food by using their tentacles that hang down in the water, WFOR-TV noted.

    “The city workers cleaned them up this morning,” city spokesman Peter Dobens told the Sun-Sentinel on Thursday. “But as the waves and the tide come in, more of them come in. They’re still coming ashore up and down the area.”

    Source by Clyde Hughes