Stay Eat Events Weather Beaches

All About the Moon Jelly on Oregon Coast: Surreal, Translucent

Published 11/18/2018 at 4:59 AM PDT
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection Staff

All About the Moon Jelly on Oregon Coast: Surreal, Translucent

(Oregon Coast) – There have been small reports of them around the Oregon coast, but it was Tiffany Boothe of Seaside Aquarium that really documented the find. An interesting species of jellyfish has been stranding along the coastline lately. And it's not that unusual. (All photos courtesy Boothe / Seaside Aquarium).

Latest Coastal Lodging News Alerts
In Seaside:
Includes exclusive listings; major specials now that winter is here
In Cannon Beach:
Includes rentals not listed anywhere else
In Manzanita, Wheeler, Rockaway Beach:
major specials for winter
In Pacific City, Oceanside:
Winter's enticing specials now
In Lincoln City:
Major winter specials now
In Depoe Bay, Gleneden Beach:
major specials this season
In Newport:
Look for many specials
In Waldport
New amenities offered; specials and tempting prices now
In Yachats, Florence
Big deals available; lodgings not listed anywhere else

As Tiffany put it last week: “Look what the tide has brought in...moon jellies!”

They are known by the name Aurelia aurita, and they are boneless and brainless.

“This species of jellyfish ranges from Alaska to California, and is the proverbial ‘drifter,’ as it floats along wherever the ocean’s current takes it,” Boothe said. “They eat tiny marine life such as plankton and diatoms, which they pick up with the tiny hair-like tentacles that lace the outside edge of the jellyfish. Though they sting their prey, us large, thick-skinned humans cannot be harmed by this jelly.”

Like all invertebrates, they have no heart either. In the water, they are spread out in full form, with a bell on the top of the magnificent and surreal creature. Boothe said this species is unique among jellies because although they have those stinging cells, they can’t even be felt by humans.

Although quite common off the Oregon coast, moon jellies are more common in tropical waters. Yet they have a very wide range of temperature tolerances, from as low as 21 degrees up to nearly 90 degrees.

When moon jellies show up along the Oregon coast, they’re often around a foot in diameter. They can be smaller or larger. You may find dozens at a time or just a few here and there. However, they don’t show up in enormous numbers like those purple sailors (or velella velella as they’re mostly known). Those tinier creatures – vaguely related to a jellyfish – can show up in thousands at a time, causing a nasty stink if they’re left to dry in the sun.

Why do they show up? The ocean off the Oregon coast is simply a very dynamic place and things wash up all the time. Often with jellyfish it’s because the wind pushes them. According to the Seaside Aquarium, there was probably many of them out there when the winds took charge of their destiny.

The Aurelia aurita is one of about ten jellyfish that are very similar, and it’s often hard to tell them apart from each other.

Moon jellies are translucent, and with their limited movement capabilities only drift with the currents. They feed by stinging small plankton and mollusks with prickly little tentacles, then moving the their food into their body for digestion. They also feed on crustaceans, tunicate larvae, protozoans, diatoms, fish eggs and other similarly small organisms.

How they breathe is also a curiosity. Moon jellies do not have breathing organs such as gills or lungs, but instead diffuse oxygen from water through a thin membrane.

It’s not uncommon for either the Seaside Aquarium or the Oregon Coast Aquarium to have them on display. Oregon Coast Lodgings in this area - Where to eat - Maps - Virtual Tours

Oregon Coast Lodging

 


Photo above taken by Haystack Rock Awareness Program. Below, more photos from Boothe and Seaside Aquarium.




More About Oregon Coast hotels, lodging.....

More About Oregon Coast Restaurants, Dining.....

 

Oregon Coast event or adventure you can't miss

 



Coastal Spotlight


LATEST Related Oregon Coast Articles

New Surge in Orca Sightings Over Weekend Good Sign for Oregon Coast Holiday
Chances may be good you'll get to spot some over holiday weekend. Whales, marine sciences
Surprisingly, One Man Connects Oregon Coast Lighthouses at Heceta Head, Terri...
One man, Oswald Allik, served on both the Seaside and Florence-area lights until the end. Cannon Beach, Florence history
Some of the Most Riveting Oregon Coast Views Are Hardest to Find
Outstanding viewpoints along the beaches that you may not know: Depoe Bay, Port Orford, Oceanside, Cannon Beach
2022 Memorial Weekend Travel Advice, Warnings for Oregon Coast
Dealing with traffic, hotels, speed traps, weather
South Oregon Coast's Bandon Holds Special Puffin Viewing Day
Puffin Party celebration at Bandon's Face Rock Wayside on May 28. Bandon events
Central Oregon Coast Artist Exhibits Surreal, Colorful Works at Florence Visi...
Mixed media called encaustics created by Jo Beaudreau. Florence events
Oregon Coast Wildlife Officials: Don't Kidnap Wildlife
It's not just baby seals you'll have to watch out for. Sciences
Oregon Coast Aquarium Celebrates 30 Years This Week
Since 1992, the Aquarium in Newport has been showing off countless oceanic wonders to over two generations. Newport events

Back to Oregon Coast

Contact Advertise on BeachConnection.net
All Content, unless otherwise attributed, copyright BeachConnection.net Unauthorized use or publication is not permitted

Oregon Coast Lodging
Rentals
Specials

Dining

Events Calendar

Oregon Coast Weather

Travel News

Search for Oregon Coast Subjects, Articles

Virtual Tours, Maps
Deep Details