Burnham-On-Sea, Somerset


Burnham-On-Sea News
September 2004

Hundreds of jellyfish washed up along Burnham Beach

Hundreds of jellyfish-like creatures have been washed up along West Country beaches by the stormy weather - including Burnham-On-Sea beach.

Shoals of the harmless Velella Velella, which measure up to 10cm across, have been found lying several creatures deep.

Thousands have also been spotted in Devon, where they numbered up to 2,000 per square metre, and in Cornwall and Bridgend, south Wales.

Steve Moon, an ecologist, told the Western Daily Press: "The stranding has been caused by a combination of the wind and tides. It is a natural phenomenon and a pretty amazing sight."

The creatures, which closely resemble jellyfish, are commonly known as By-The-Wind Sailors.

They are a distinctive blue and purple and have an upright sail-like fin - often described as being "like cellophane" - which helps them move across the surface of the water.

The shoals will be left to break down naturally, providing food for other sea creatures and birds.

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