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Millions of jellyfish-like creatures wash up on beaches

Though not poisonous to most people, beachgoers should avoid the animals because their venom can cause stinging in the eyes and mouth, said Steve Rumrill, an expert at the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife. Known as Velella velella to scientists, and more informally as "by-the-wind sailors," the creatures regularly cluster offshore each spring. But it is unusual for so many to wash ashore at once, especially this late in the summer, he said. In addition to the millions that have been spotted on beaches from Southern California to Washington, millions more are floating near the ocean surface offshore, Rumrill added. Ocean experts do not know why more by-the-wind sailors are washing up this year, or why they are arriving later than usual, said Erin Paxton, spokeswoman for the Oregon Coast Aquarium. via MSN.

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