SAN FRANCISCO – People visiting beaches along the California coastline have recently started noticing strange, blue creatures washing ashore.
And while they closely resemble the highly poisonous Portuguese Man O’War, the Velella velella, or By-the-Wind-Sailors, are not jellyfish or poisonous.
The By-the-Wind-Sailors have a firm and upright triangular sail attached to their bodies which helps them get caught up by the wind and blow across the water's surface. That’s how they got their nickname, according to the Point Reyes National Seashore.
"Don’t worry about those little blue tentacles that hang from their body," the Facebook post said. "These tentacles don’t sting humans but will gather up plenty of zooplankton or fish eggs for them to eat."
FOX 11 reports that while they pose little threat to humans, it’s advised to be careful when touching your face or rubbing your eyes if you pick one up because they can cause a slight irritation to your skin.