Cucumber-Shaped Jello Sea Creatures Swarm Northern California Coast


Some are saying this looks like an invasion from another planet or some cheap sci-fi creatures washing up along California's Monterey Bay, according to NBCLosAngeles.

The sea animals or organisms are called pyrosomes and resemble cucumber-shaped, gelatinous things. Folks on the northern coast are puzzled and wondering how the pyrosomes invaded their beautiful coastline and if their unassuming appearance could actually contain something potentially harmful.

Pyrosomes are also labeled "sea pickles" because of their shape. The so-called sea creatures are translucent, and there are some types that actually glow in the dark.

California fishermen are not happy about the invasion because the pyrosomes can collect by the thousands as they try to catch shrimp and salmon. The brownish sea pickles are an annoyance because they clog nets and gum up fishing lines.

Scientists are scratching their heads over the masses of slimy-like and bumpy cucumber-shaped organisms congregating along the Pacific Northwest. It's not unusual for pyrosomes to gather around tropical waters far offshore globally. What's bringing the mysterious sea creatures close to the Monterey Bay area might have to do with water temperatures.

Scientists believe that unusually warm ocean conditions could be attracting the sea pickles to California's northern coast. They eat plankton and float and travel with the currents. Their size varies, too, from a few millimeters to some growing more than two feet long. Ocean experts also say that pyrosomes disrupt the ecosystem, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is researching these jello-like sea organisms to learn more about their natural habitat. So far, it's unclear what impact the pyrosomes invasion is having on other wildlife.

If colder ocean conditions return, it is possible the pyrosomes will disappear at some point. Until that time, sea pickles have become the new Northern California beach bums and could settle there permanently.