Los Angeles Times

Curious creatures wash ashore

Pink, pod-like critters spark speculatio­n in Huntington Beach.

- HANNAH FRY hannah.fry@latimes.com Twitter: @HannahFryT­CN Fry writes for Times Community News.

Pink, gelatinous sea creatures washing up in Huntington Beach this week have beachgoers and officials scratching their heads.

The small, pod-like critters, which slither and burrow into the sand, were seen along state and city beaches Monday and Tuesday.

“They’ve made an appearance on our beaches before,” city Marine Safety Lt. Eric Dieterman said. “Not in this number, but I have seen them.”

Some onlookers speculated the creatures are sea salps, barrel-shaped animals that look like jellyfish but have dorsal nerve cords. They pump water through their bodies to move and feed on phytoplank­ton. They are common in equatorial, temperate and cold waters.

Some writers in an online forum for Huntington Beach residents pondered the creatures being sea cucumbers, sea slugs or even alien embryos.

Lisa Mooney of Glendora said she was collecting seashells near the Huntington Beach Pier on Monday when she came across the creatures, which she thought were small jellyfish.

“There were so many along the sand, you could barely walk,” she said.

 ?? Hannah Fry Times Community News ?? PINK sea creatures washing up in Huntington Beach this week have piqued the curiosity of onlookers.
Hannah Fry Times Community News PINK sea creatures washing up in Huntington Beach this week have piqued the curiosity of onlookers.

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