About 100 pyrosomes washed onto the beach at Big Corona this morning, something not been seen before in Corona del Mar, a city expert said.
“Pyrosoma is a glow in the dark pelagic tunicate,” said Michelle Clemente, a Newport Beach marine education supervisor, in an email. “Although it is not uncommon to our waters…no one around here has ever seen it!”
According to the jellieszone website, the creatures typically inhabit tropical waters and some will grow to 4 meters long.
“Pyrosoma atlanticum is one of the few pyrosomes that visits the temperate West Coast,” the website states.
Clemente said the creatures migrate vertically, meaning they move up and down the water column opposed to back and forth.
“It’s very cool,” she said.
The creatures on the beach were about 3/4 inch in diameter and 4 to 5 inches long, said Ron Yeo, a Corona del Mar resident.
All the pyrosomes were dead and “past the glowy stage,” Clemente said.
Recent big swells and warm water probably caused them to wash ashore, she said. The creatures won’t hurt beach visitors, she said, and will probably wash back to see about 10 a.m. at high tide.
Photos courtesy of Ron Yeo.