Tiny sea creatures popping up on Oregon beaches

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PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Thousands of small jellyfish-like animals have washed up on Seaside beach and other areas along the northern Oregon coast.

The Oregonian reports that Velella velella (vuh-lell-uh vuh-lell-uh), also called “by the wind sailors,” started lining up on the beaches near Warrenton and Seaside this week.

The purple and blue sea creatures normally spend their time floating along the sea’s surface. When warm water and storms draw them near shore, the wind blows them onto beaches, where they die in piles.

The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife says die-offs occur each spring along beaches from Oregon to California.