World Barcelona Barcelona’s beaches have been carpeted with thousands of mysterious jellyfish-like creatures, turning the city’s white sands a rich shade of blue, thelocal.es reported. Fortunately the animals, identified as Velella velella, are relatively harmless to humans, making this invasion more of a natural marvel than a toxic emergency. Velella look like jellyfish, but are actually floating colonies of microscopic hydrozoans—tiny predatory creatures that generally live far offshore in open waters. Velella have small, stiff, sail-like structures to harness the power of the wind and allow them to travel across the water in search of plankton and other small prey. In the summer months, Velella generally move closer to shore as water temperatures rise. Here, they are vulnerable to sudden strong winds, and the colonies can end up closer to land than intended resulting in local shorelines painted blue. Known as “By-the-Wind Sailor” or “Sea Raft” in English, stranded Vellela colonies are a common sight on the western U.S. coast. Recommended Slideshows 51 50 Best-Selling Albums in U.S. History 51 In Pictures: The 50 Most Powerful Military Forces in the World 51 In Pictures: Top 50 U.S. Cities Ranked by Quality of Life And Average Salary A dead Velella velella… Read full this story
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