Found this picture the other day and was completely puzzled as to what it could be. If you were walking along a beach and came upon it, what would you think it was? My first thought (hope) was, could this be some kind of alien residue? Maybe. It also kind of looks like it could be dragon poop!
I had to find out what this was, once and for all. So here goes:
Another Mysterious Sea Creature
Turns out they are black sea nettles (Chrysaora achlyos) also known as black jellyfish. They had been spotted along the coast of the Pacific ocean at least since 1925, but it was only in 1997 that the animal was formally recognized and catalogued.
Scientists believe this jellyfish lives from the Monterey Bay area down through the southern Baja California and Mexican shorelines. Some people have reported seeing them as far north as British Columbia.
It’s a large jellyfish – its bell measures 1 meter (3 feet) across! The feeding tentacles, or “oral arms” extend up to 6 meters (20 ft). This jellyfish is carnivorous, and it’s believed to feed off of zooplankton and other jellyfish.
Interestingly, they appear in large groups during red tide events, and scientists believe that is because they like to eat that zooplankton.
Humans can be stung by the nettles on its arms and it’s painful but only lasts about 40 minutes.
What I love about these stories is they just go on and on and on! One creature after another is being found in our oceans and in some cases identified by science. It’s thrilling to contemplate what else could be down there! And as I’ve mentioned in a previous mermaid post, what could be making the strange noises that scientists are recording?
The ocean is vast, and so are our imaginations! Can’t wait to see what they find next! Maybe a live plesiosaur???
Til the next time!