• Tatum Williams

Bizarre new discovery made on West Coast

I never thought oceanic animals could be more bizarre than the Axolotl and the Goblin Shark, but there are even stranger life forms in the waters. A newer species called the Velella have appeared all along the west coast. According to CNN, “They first started showing up in Washington and Oregon, and by mid-July reached San Francisco. On Thursday, photos turned up on Twitter from Hollywood and silver strand beaches in Oxnard.”

These gelatin-like creatures are a branch of jelly fish that use their tentacles to catch plankton and fish eggs. They use the fin on their top as a sail to glide along the surface of the ocean. These organisms are called many names, such as sea raft, by-the-wind sailor, or simply Velella.

According to National Geographic, "They exhibit two different body types depending on where they are in their life cycle." Its earliest form is called Hydroid, which, according to Wikipedia, "are a life stage for most animals of the class Hydrozoa, small predators related to jellyfish." The second stage is the Velella, which is "a cosmopolitan genus of free-floating hydrozoans that live on the surface of the open ocean," according to Wikipedia.

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