Mysterious sea creature found off the coast of California

R.A. Heim
scuba diver in waterPhoto byBoxed Water Is BetteronUnsplash

A paddle boarder recently found an interesting creature in the water off of the coast of California and didn't know what it was. All he knew is that it was long--at least several feet in length--and translucent. He shared his discovery on Instagram below.

The user initially tagged his video with the hashtag #seasnake and it's understandable why he did so. This creature is actually a sea salp, translucent invertebrates that are more closely related to humans than jellyfish despite their unique appearance.

"They look at lot like a jellyfish," said Karla Heidelberg. Heidelbergteaches biological sciences and environment studies at the University of Southern California. "These organisms have no stinging cells at all. They're totally harmless and they're unbelievably beautiful."

Salps are a member of the Tunicata, a group of animals also known as sea squirts. They are taxonomically closer to humans than jellyfish. According to this source, salps are common in equatorial, temperate, and cold seas. The most abundant concentrations of salps are in the Southern Ocean.

What do you think about this video? Have you ever seen a sea salp before?

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