Weird blue oniony thingy… or Vellela Vellelas Part 2

My blog’s search engine terms usually have the same types of queries.  Everyday, there is something about tilapia origins, on the Magic Sarap ban (a popular seasoning mix in the Philippines) or about cooking the popular Filipino dessert, Leche Flan with coconut milk.

Today, I noticed a string of new words:

“weird blue oniony thingy that the tide washes up on the beach”

I wondered what on earth brought them to my blog…so I did an image search of the words on Google, and sure enough, among the images are of my grandson Jun’s feet — near a Vellela Vellela that washed ashore.

Vellela jellie like creatures washed up on California beaches wb

I never thought to describe these as “oniony thingy” when I posted about these creatures last summer.

But just a few days ago, I went for a walk on the beach and saw remnants of what looked like the top or sail part of Vellelas.

There were hundreds of them on the beach…and I suppose you could describe them as being like onions.

The certainly looked like Vellelas…but what happened to the rest of the creature…the bottom blue-purple part?


Further up on the beach, I did see a complete one…and could then confirm they were Vellela Vellelas.


So now I wondered if shore birds ate the bottom part, or if they just decompose in this manner while at sea, the top part breaking away from the bottom…

Anyway, I am posting these photos too, in case there are people looking to identify weird blue oniony thingys that the tide washes up on the beach or even just “oniony looking thingys” on the beach.

And if you want to know what they are, there is a post and great video here, to tell you all about these interesting, jellyfish-like creatures that live on the surface of the water, and related to Portuguese man o’ wars.


Photo of Sagewort (Artemisia pycnocephala) — a common sand dune plant found on beaches here on the California Central Coast. Click on photo to see more beach plant photos on the post about the invasive Ice Plant.

Since Vellela Vellelas are found on most of the world’s oceans, have you seen these creatures washed up on the beaches near where you live?

10 thoughts on “Weird blue oniony thingy… or Vellela Vellelas Part 2

    • Now I am thinking that they must fall apart that way at sea…or back to my other thought that the birds only eat the bottom part? Well, maybe someone with a marine science background will tell us…eventually.

  1. At first I thought they were what we call blue bottles (Portuguese man o’ war). They give a very nasty sting, so the little toes so close would cause alarm 😉 Must be a close relative perhaps.

  2. Hi Lola Jane … this is odd I know, but I just saw your comment (3 years ago!) about my old dog Sparky’s birthday, so wanted to say thanks very much! Spark is now gone ;-(( but replaced by Emmie who is super fun too.

    In tracking you down, I found this great post! I would see those critters on the beaches occasionally when I lived in Santa Maria.

    best, Hollis

Now that you are here, I would love to know what you think...comments are always appreciated.