Millions Of Alien-like Creatures Cover U.S West Coast Beaches

Millions of tiny, blue creatures known as “by-the-wind sailors,” or Velella velella, are washing up on beaches from Oregon to California.

The flood of Velella colonies, which are hydrozoans, thrilled beachgoers, who shared the pictures on social media.

Despite their tiny size, they have a sail-like fin that helps them to catch the wind and travel the vast expanses of the Pacific Ocean.

While their emergence is a regular occurrence, the large number seen this spring sets it apart.

Velella spend most of their lives wandering in the ocean currents, using their tentacles to gather food.

They are not harmful to humans, but their sting can cause discomfort for zooplankton and fish larvae.

Their bright blue colour saves them from predatory organisms such as ocean sunfish and provides UV protection.

Researchers are constantly discovering the mysteries of these organisms, such as their life cycles and ecological impact.

Climate change will likely bring more Velella colonies ashore, which could impact fish populations and other marine creatures.