By Euro Weekly News Media •
Published: 28 May 2016 • 17:00
The velalla has sails to enable it to float on the ocean's surface
BATHERS in Cala Egos were surprised to find hundreds of velellas stranded on the beach last weekend.
Incidents such as this are not uncommon as, under certain wind conditions, large numbers of these creatures, which are commonly called sea raft, by-the-wind sailor, purple sail or little sail, may be stranded on beaches.
According to Wikipedia, velella is “a cosmopolitan genus of free-floating hydrozoans that live on the surface of the open ocean” and are related to the Portuguese man o’war. The creatures are usually deep blue in colour with their most obvious feature being a small stiff sail that catches the wind and propels the velella over the surface of the sea.
Tentacles hanging underneath are used to catch prey which is usually plankton. Although the creatures may be mistaken for jellyfish, they are harmless to people because their tentacles cannot penetrate the skin.
They may, however cause minor problems if they come into contact with a wound or eyes.
Share this story
Subscribe to our Euro Weekly News alerts to get the latest stories into your inbox!
By signing up, you will create a Euro Weekly News account if you don't already have one. Review our
Share your story with us by emailing email@example.com, by calling +34 951 38 61 61 or by messaging our Facebook page www.facebook.com/EuroWeeklyNews
Download our media pack in either English or Spanish.