Stinky Velella velella are rather interesting

A carpet of decaying blue sealife on the sand.

From time to time Velella velella wash ashore and decay. We had another event a few days ago so the beach is a bit smelly in parts.

Velella velella, also known as By the Wind Sailors, are a relative of bluebottles, and a jelly fish. They use a small sail to drift on the ocean surface.

These little creatures are rather interesting. Scripps Institution of Oceanography tells us:

A clear, chitinous semicircular to triangular sail sticks up above the water with a blue float beneath made of concentric circles of gas-filled chambers. Small tentacles extend below the circular chambers. The sail is angled left or right.

This 5 minute video, The secret life of Velella: Adrift with the by-the-wind sailor, is extremely interesting, and tells us how these creatures live and how they’re related to other jelly fish.

Waikawa News @WaikawaNews