Picture this: you're walking along the beach and suddenly you see something that appears to be made out of gel or jelly. It doesn't quite look like a jellyfish, but you can't be certain.
That's what happened to a local who decided to post on social media to get answers.
In a Nextdoor post titled "Beach Creature" a user posted a picture after walking at Torrey Pines beach over the weekend and coming across several, "silver dollar sized semi-gelatinous things." The user asked if anyone knew what they are.
We took the picture to experts at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography.
Turns out, it is a type of jellyfish! It is common to this area and the creatures can be seen from Ocean Beach to Oceanside.
Velella Velella are commonly referred to as "By-The-Wind-Sailor."
“They will typically reproduce over winter in the deep sea so we will periodically see them show up in the spring and summer," said Lindsey Sala of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography.
She added that it is generally unpredictable when they will wash ashore.
"They don’t have the ability to swim on their own," said Sala at the Scripps Pier in La Jolla on Monday. "They’re really subject to winds, currents and tides.”
And while they probably won't sting you, scientists add it is better to look but don't touch.
“Typically they don’t have the ability to penetrate human skin, but because people can react differently to stings and bites, I tell people to observe them but just leave them be," said Sala.
Have you seen Velella Velella on the beach?