San Diego

Mysterious Jelly-Like Sea Creatures Found on Local Beaches

The recent rain and runoff has been bringing them to shore.

Jelly-like sea creatures have washed up all over California beaches, including here in San Diego and they are catching a lot of beachgoers by surprise.

Some people told NBC 7 that just a few days ago, Imperial Beach was filled with the little marine animals. Other beaches in Southern California are seeing them wash up onto the shore by the thousands.

Erica Guthrie said she visits the beach often with her dog to look for shells and remembered seeing something very unusual on the shore over the past week.

"There was a whole bunch. I don't even know, I can't even count. The whole area was full of them," she said.

Vince Levesque, Senior Aquarist at Birch Aquarium told NBC 7, it is not a jelly at all. He said he thinks they are a type of sea cucumber, specifically called a sweet potato cucumber and are found on the sea floor around the world.

He added that to protect themselves, they contract, forming tight little tubes. When relaxed, they stretch out and begin to burrow into the sand again unless they have been too dried out by the sun and wind on the beaches.

"They were living," Gutherie said. "I didn't want them to dry up in the sun so I just tossed them back in."

Levesque said it's pretty uncommon to see them on area beaches since they normally burrow into the sand, but all the recent rain most likely forced them up to the surface.

With more rain possibly in store for San Diego, it means even more sea cucumbers could be making an appearance.

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