Moon Jellyfish Washing up on San Francisco Beaches

by the Left Coast Rebel

Local San Diego KUSI's Dave Scott is calling the sighting of thousands of Moon (Valella) jellyfish (images left, right) in San Francisco as one of the "strangest things" ever seen on a beach in California.

I don't know about it being the strangest thing ever seen since I have seen some pretty bizarre sights here on San Diego beaches over the years which go far beyond slimy, tentacled little jelly-orbs.

Nevertheless, although not locally reported, I recently caught a glimpse of a Moon jellyfish washed up on my local beach. It was the only one in sight, I spotted it from a distance as it's surface reflected the bright afternoon sunlight.

I wonder if they are heading en masse, south?

Silicon Valley's Mercury News reports on the sighting:

San Francisco residents on Saturday morning spotted tens of thousands of jellyfish that had washed up on the shores of Ocean Beach for no apparent reason.

"There was a large swell overnight that may have been responsible," National Park Service spokesman George Durgerian said.

Durgerian was incredulous at the sight of the jellyfish. He said he's only seen an incident like this once before.

"It was huge, like a cobblestone walkway made of jellyfish," he said.

Jellyfish packed a section of beach stretching about three miles long and 20 feet wide. It was easily seen between Pacheco and Lawton streets.

Durgerian said the jellyfish that washed up are a fairly common breed called moon jellyfish.

"These were jellyfish like you think they look like -- large, circular, translucent and gelatinous," he said.

The incident he saw about seven years ago on Ocean Beach involved by-the-wind sailor jellyfish, also known as Valella jellyfish. "They kind of look like a windsurfer," Durgerian said. Valella are typically deep blue in color.

Durgerian doesn't know why the jellyfish washed ashore between Friday and today, but said a park service biologist will begin an investigation into the unusual event on Monday.

He said there was no planned cleanup or rescue for the jellyfish. "By now the high tide has come in and they may be off the beach," he said at about 7 p.m.


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