What Are These Weird Alien-Like Creatures On The Beach?

Share The Beach

“It’s A Bird, It’s A Plane…” It’s On Our Beaches? “Burrowing sea cucumbers!” “Coyote eggs,” “Alien eggs,” “Jelly Beans,” “Industrial Waste?”

Bonus Theme Song At Bottom Of Page

Fox 5 San Diego reports, “A number of photos showing mysterious jelly-like creatures that recently washed up on the sand at a California beach have prompted rampant speculation on social media, according to KTLA.

One Facebook user, Ryan Rustan, wrote that he was walking on the Huntington Beach shoreline Monday night when he felt “little water balloons popping under my feet, super squishy.”

He said he looked down and was unsure what exactly he had stepped on.

“Couldn’t tell if they were jellyfish or eggs but there are thousands up and down the beach,” Rustan wrote on Facebook, sharing the post to the Huntington Beach Community Forum group.

Christopher G. Lowe, a marine biology professor at Cal State Long Beach who is the director of the university’s shark lab, told KTLA that the school’s resident invertebrate expert says they are sea cucumbers.

Huntington Marine Safety Lt. Claude Panis, who has worked for the lifeguard department for nearly 40 years, told the Orange County Register he was unsure what the jelly creatures were; however, he said it was possible they were a lingering effect of last winter’s El Niño.

“There’s all kinds of weird things happening,” Panis told the newspaper, noting that was not the only unusual occurrence in the Huntington Beach area.

In addition, a number of stingrays have been spotted uncommonly close to shore.

“It’s just strange,” Panis said.

The Orange County Register reports, “Matt Bracken, UC Irvine associate professor at the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, went along with some of the speculators saying they are likely “pelagic tunicates,” otherwise known as salps.

“These marine invertebrates look sort of like jellyfish, but they are actually more closely related to vertebrates (e.g., humans) than to other invertebrates,” he wrote in an e-mail response after examining images. “They occasionally bloom off the California coast.”

The creatures, some slithering along and burrowing into the sand, were spotted in areas of Huntington City and Huntington State Beach. Nearby Newport Beach had no reports of the creatures, lifeguards said.

Panis said the jellies might be a lingering affect of the dwindling El Niño. Similarly, there’s been an influx of stingrays uncommonly close to shore for this time of year that is stumping lifeguards.

“There’s all kinds of weird things happening,” he said. “It’s just strange.”

Are they Salps?


The unofficial theme song of this critter…

They’re creepy and they’re kooky,
Mysterious and spooky,
They’re all together ooky,
The Addams Family.

Their house is a museum
Where people come to see ’em
They really are a scream
The Addams Family


So get a witches shawl on
A broomstick you can crawl on
We’re gonna pay a call on
The Addams Family.
They’re creepy and they’re kooky,
Mysterious and spooky,
They’re all together ooky,
The Addams Family

Share The Beach
Previous Post

My Encinitas: Your Encinitas

Next Post

In Aquatic News… Swim Peacefully with Thousands of Jellyfish