Rare ‘vibrant’ blue sea creatures shock New Jersey beachgoers

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New Jersey locals needed to do a double take once they found close by seashores have been affected by vibrant blue sea critters. The odd-looking creatures have been shades of inexperienced and blue and had lengthy, darkish tentacles.

Upon nearer inspection, residents believed they have been jellyfish — although they have been not like something they’d seen earlier than. They have been later recognized as “blue button jellyfish,” a disc-shaped, free-floating organism that sometimes measures about 1-inch in diameter.

“They have been so vibrant, it was unreal so I couldn’t assist however cease and take discover,” stated Suzanne Schenker, who was strolling alongside the coast of Seaside Haven when she noticed a pair of the jellyfish, advised WCBS-TV.

Schenker posted pictures of the spherical creatures on “New Jersey Jellyspotters,” a Fb group with roughly 800 members.

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“They even left a turquoise stain on the sand. I’ve by no means seen them earlier than,” Schenker stated within the put up.

Marine biologist Paul Bologna, a biology professor at Montclair State College, commented on Schenker’s put up, confirming they have been — in reality — porpita porpita, also called blue button jellyfish. Bologna stated highly effective winds from Hurricane Florence in all probability pushed the tropical jellyfish north.

“It is the primary time I’ve ever seen one in New Jersey,” Bologna advised NJ Advance Media, explaining they have been doubtless blown in from the Gulf Stream. “I’ve seen them in Florida however by no means this space. They’re stunning and beautiful.”

It did not take lengthy earlier than others began updating locals with sightings of their very own.

“Blue buttons wash up on Brigantine Seaside, north finish, New Jersey. If anybody sees them anyplace else, please let me know? Thanks! I simply discovered this fascinating,” Holly Horner, of Williamstown, posted on Fb, together with an image, final Tuesday.

One other resident, Bernadette Brennan-Brudon, stated she additionally noticed blue buttons on Brigantine Seaside final week.

“Is that this completely different from the blue jellies that have been noticed in Seaside Haven final week?” one Fb consumer requested.

Bologna clarified they’re the identical species, but it surely seems many extra are washing up on the seashores in latest days.

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Blue button jellyfish are sometimes in comparison with Portuguese man of-war, although they pack a significantly much less highly effective sting.

“Every is definitely a colony of organisms that drift the place the wind and currents ship them. Every kind of animal within the colony serves a specialised perform for the survival of the colony,” the Nationwide Park Service describes on-line. “Whereas small, free-floating marine animals, often called zooplankton, are captured by the Blue button’s tentacles, people are fortuitously unaffected by its gentle sting.”

If residents spot any extra blue buttons, Bologna asks that they retailer them — in a jar of ethanol, or in a Ziploc bag or jar with rubbing alcohol — so researchers at MSU can gather DNA samples.

“Should you get a number of, we’d like to get as many as attainable for evaluation,” he added.

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