Strange blue sea creatures wash up on Costa Blanca beaches

Hundreds of small jellyfish-like creatures have washed up on Costa Blanca beaches leaving a blue carpet of slime at the shoreline… but they are totally harmless.

Strange blue sea creatures wash up on Costa Blanca beaches
The blue jellyfish type creatures are totally harmless. Photo: Club Nautico Altea

The small creatures have been identified as Velella velella, not strictly a jellyfish but floating colonies of microscopic hydrozoansthat typically live far offshore in open ocean waters, where their little ‘sails’ help distribute them using the force of the wind.

Hundreds have washed up on the Costa Blanca coast between Altea and Denia. Sightings have been reported on beaches including L'Olla in Altea, the sandy stretch of Arenal-Bol in Calpe and  Cap de la Nau in Javea.

The species, known in English as ‘By-the-Wind Sailor’, are fairly common in open waters but are rarely seen washed up in Mediterranean waters. Such mass strandings are common on the West coast of the USA.

Recent high southerly winds and strong sea currents are blamed for washing carpets of them on shore at beaches along Spain's eastern Mediterranean coast.

In pics: Easter floods tear through Spain's Costa Blanca

Although the species is related to the deadly Portuguese Man O’War, Velella are completely harmless to humans.

During the last week of April, some beaches in the region were closed to swimmers after Portuguese Man O'War were spotted close to shore, but there were no reported stingings. 

Here's one that washed up in Altea: 

VIDEO: Drone captures incredible footage of whales off Barcelona coast 

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Beat the crowds: 10 hidden beaches and coves along Spain’s Costa Blanca

If you're going to be staying in Spain's Costa Blanca this summer and you're looking to spend time relaxing at a secluded beach or cove, here are ten spectacular spots where tourists and sometimes even locals don't go in Alicante province.

Beat the crowds: 10 hidden beaches and coves along Spain's Costa Blanca
Cala Racó del Conill (Villajoyosa). Photo: Samu Alicante/Wikipedia

Finding a quiet spot to put down your beach towel can be pretty challenging during the peak summer period in Alicante. 

The pandemic and ongoing travel restrictions mean many Spaniards are spending their holidays in the country, and the Valencian province is particularly popular among national tourists, just as it is with foreign visitors. 

 For peace seekers, that unfortunately means packed beaches and the usual hustle and bustle that comes with life in Spain. 

However, Alicante’s coastline has lots of fairly unknown beaches and coves where you are less likely to encounter crowds. They may not all have fine white sand and all the usual amenities but their ruggedness and natural beauty are part of the charm. 

Here are ten playas (beaches) and coves (calas) in Alicante where you may find the peace and quiet you’re after. 

Les Rotes (Dénia)

Photo: Salvador Fornell/Flickr

Playa Portichol (Javea)

Photo: Concepcion Muñoz/Flickr

Cala del Moraig (Benitatxell)

Photo: Jesús Alenda/Flickr

Cala Baladrar (Benissa)

Photo: Joan Banjo/Wikipedia

Coveta Fumá (Campello)

Photo: William Helsen/Flickr

Cala Tio Ximo (Benidorm)

Photo: Enrique Domingo/Flickr

Cala Ferris (Torrevieja)

Photo: Miguel Angel Villar/Flickr

Cala Llebeig (Benitatxell)

Photo: Valencia Tourism Board

Playa del Bol Nou (Villajoyosa)

Photo: Diego Delso/Flickr

Cala Racó del Conill (Villajoyosa)

Photo: Samu Alicante/Wikipedia