Velella velella, or By the Wind Sailors as they’re more commonly known, are a type of jellyfish that floats on the surface of the sea. During strong winds they can be blown onto the shoreline.
There have been several postings on Facebook groups of the jellyfish on Island beaches. Don’t worry they’re not poisonous and won’t sting if you pick them up, but scientists at Oregon State University say to avoid them because they carry a mild neurotoxin.
Our thanks to Isle of Wight artist, Holly Maslen, for sharing her photos of the beauties spotted earlier this week.
Click on images to see larger versions
If you spot anything unusual on the beach, do let the Marine Conservation Society know (via their Website).
This great video below shows the Velella in their natural habitat, the open ocean, and what it looks like when they are blown to shore.