Kapiti Coast Gets Blue Rinse

October 15, 2017

 

Tiny sea creatures called Velella have washed up in their millions at along the West Coast with huge numbers landing on Kapiti beaches.

 

The startling blue jellyfish-like creatures have been washing up on local beaches for the last few days.

 

According to Livescience.com, the creatures are not true jellyfish, but are related to them. They float on the ocean surface and are blown by the wind.

 

Their electric-blue body hangs down into the water, with stinging tentacles that capture small prey such as tiny shrimp and plankton. They are about 7cm long, and small stiff sail like membrane that catches the wind.

 

Although velella toxins are harmless to humans, it's not a good idea to handle the jelly creatures and then touch your eyes or mouth. The velella neurotoxin can cause itching.

 

Unfortunately as they perish the smell can be quite noticeable so visitors to the beach might want to be upwind for the next few days.

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