Velella Rock Drawing Polurrian Cove Cornwall

These curious things were found along the beach at Polurrian Cove, not knowing what they were they were gathered because of their fascinating transparent beauty, structures and form. Nine small circles of c. 4-6 inches diameter were made along the wet rocks. It was later discovered that they were in fact the bodies of stranded jellyfish Velella Velella also known as By The Wind Sailor which periodically are washed up on the beaches of Cornwall (and sometimes the Welsh and Irish coasts too) in their thousands.

Further information on these beautiful creatures: Velella Velella occurs in warm and temperate waters in all the world’s oceans. They live at the water/air interface, with the float above the water and have tentacles hanging down about a centimetre below. The small rigid sail projects into the air and catches the wind . However Velella sails always align along the direction of the wind where the sail may act as an aerofoil so that the animals tend to sail downwind at a small angle to the wind. Having no means of locomotion other than its sail, they are at the mercy of prevailing winds for moving around the seas, and are subject to mass-strandings on beaches throughout the world.

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