Salp Washing up on Assateague Island


ASSATEAGUE ISLAND, Md. – Hundreds of little jelly-like balls are washing up on shore in Assateague Island, but they aren’t what you might think they are – they’re called salp.

“Salps are not jellyfish,” Liz Davis with Assateague Island National Seashore, said.

And while the technical explanation of these little jelly balls is complicated, essentially, they’re just harmless little sea creatures. And they’re showing up in big numbers on Assateague Island lately.

“There are pretty many of them, actually, you know, about a hundred or so,” one visitor, Jeff Bell, said.

“Yeah, a whole bunch,” another visitor, Molly Brenier, said.

But why, exactly, are these critters showing up?

“We’re seeing them on the beaches this time of year because of certain currents offshore, and winds and that activity,” Davis said. “Those currents and things like that can kind of be upwelling and bringing them in.”

But there’s nothing to be worried about, salp are completely harmless.

“It might be a little weird kind of swimming around with all these little goo balls, but otherwise they’re not a stinging animal, so there’s really nothing to worry about there,” Davis said.

And while they’re swimming in big numbers, some people don’t mind them being around.

“It’s just kind of a cool phenomenon that, that’s not the ordinary thing,” Davis said.


Categories: Local News, Maryland