Great big "blooms" of bizarre, beautiful, blue and purple creatures have been washing up on local beaches in recent days. These relatives of jellyfish that do not sting (but still may cause allergic reactions in some) are called Vellela Vellela or "purple sailors" and were seen in just the last day or so on Ocean Beach, and on Pacifica beaches in recent days.
Sightings of huge beachings were also seen along the Oregon coast in early July, marking what seems to be a resurgence of the species after years of being scarce.
A Cal Academy of Sciences expert tells ABC 7 says that shifting onshore winds are what blow the Vellela Vellela onshore, because they actually do sail across the oceans surface en masse. And there's nothing really to worry about because, though such major beachings don't typically happen this late in summer, he says, they are not unusual and don't represent any sort of ecological threat to the species. But, I repeat, people might not want to touch them because of the possible-allergic-reaction thing.
In other, perhaps unrelated news, starfish have been experiencing a "catastrophic" die-off all along the Pacific coast recently, likely due to warmer ocean temperature. (Hello, catastrophic El Nino winter to come.)