In a Nutshell:
- Bizarre blue blobs wash up on beaches across Southern California, identified as Velella velella, also known as By-the-Wind Sailors.
- Velella velella are hydroid polyps that float on the ocean surface and form colonies of thousands of individual polyps, each with their own function.
- Mass strandings of Velella velella on beaches during springtime are regular and natural occurrences, driven by wind and current regimes, and they pose little risk to humans but caution is advised.
Beachgoers in Southern California were left scratching their heads recently as thousands of vibrant blue blobs washed up en masse on the shores, creating an otherworldly spectacle. But what were these mysterious creatures? Were they jellyfish, or perhaps some alien life form? As it turns out, the answer is both simpler and stranger than anyone could have imagined.
These peculiar blue blobs are actually Velella velella, commonly known as By-the-Wind Sailors, and they are not your ordinary jellyfish or Portuguese Man O’ War.
The intriguing discovery was first brought to light by Point Reyes National Seashore, which uploaded photographs of the strange gathering to social media. Rita F. T. Pires, a research assistant at the Portuguese Institute for Sea and Atmosphere, confirmed that these creatures were indeed Velella velella, shedding light on their unique characteristics.
Velella velella are hydroid polyps, jellyfish-like creatures that spend their entire lives floating on the ocean surface. They are typically small, measuring only 2 to 3 inches in length, with a rigid “sail” on their backs that allows them to move with the wind, often resulting in them being blown towards land.
But what makes Velella velella truly fascinating is that they are not individual organisms, but rather colonies of thousands of specialized polyps, each with their own function. Just like their cousin, the Portuguese Man O’ War, Velella velella is a complex colony of different polyps responsible for various functions such as feeding, protection, and reproduction. These individual polyps are clones of each other and work together in harmony to survive in the ocean’s vast expanse.
According to Lisa-ann Gershwin, a former research scientist specializing in jellyfish, “They are portable colonies of hydroids, the ‘other’ part of the life cycle of jellyfishes. We are used to seeing the jellyfish-looking part (called a medusa), but they have another part that’s like a tiny coral polyp or sea anemone, stuck to the bottom. When the medusa stage has babies, they grow up to be polyps, and when the polyps have babies, they grow up to be medusae! Weird, eh?”
Velella velella can wash up en masse on beaches during springtime, following periods of increased reproductive activity. These mass strandings, also known as blooms, are regular and natural occurrences in the species’ life cycle. Strong winds combined with higher reproduction rates can result in these striking blue creatures congregating on the shores of Southern California, as well as in other parts of the world, such as Cornwall in the United Kingdom.
One of the intriguing features of Velella velella is their evolutionary adaptation to prevent mass strandings. Out in the open ocean, they have right-handed and left-handed forms mixed in the population. One form will ride the breeze better than the other, which helps them avoid stranding the entire population. It’s nature’s way of ensuring their survival, and it’s a quirky and fascinating aspect of these enigmatic creatures.
But what about the sting? While Velella velella does possess stinging cells, they are not as potent as those of their cousin, the Portuguese Man O’ War. Caution is always advised when encountering them, and it’s best not to touch them, as some minor allergic reactions can occur. However, they are unlikely to cause harm unless they come into contact with sensitive areas of the body, such as mucous membranes.
So, if you happen to be out for a stroll and encounter these brilliant blue creatures, promise that you’ll jump up and down repeatedly shouting ‘Velella velella!’ as these creatures wash up on the shore, as mentioned in the post by Point Reyes National Seashore.
10-Year-Old Boy Drives Stolen SUV on Highway to Meet Mom [Video]
In a Nutshell:
- A 10-year-old boy in Michigan stole a 2017 Buick Encore in an attempt to drive to his mother in Detroit, leading to a brief interstate chase that was stopped with the help of OnStar, a vehicle security service.
- The young driver, who is less than 5 feet tall, evaded police attempts to pull him over, and drove erratically across multiple lanes before the vehicle was disabled by OnStar.
- After exiting the car, the boy tried to run but was eventually apprehended and taken to the Saginaw County Juvenile Detention Center.
The Trooper was behind the suspect for about a mile with lights & sirens activated while OnStar disabled the Buick, allowing for a safe stop. Thankfully, nobody was injured in this incident. Note: there is no sound in this video. pic.twitter.com/nqSwdpm4eI— MSP Third District (@mspbayregion) June 2, 2023
Cue the “Baby Driver” jokes, folks.
It appears we have a junior speed demon on our hands, one who is all revved up and ready for a new type of playdate.
A 10-year-old Michigan lad decided that stealing a car was the best way to meet up with his mom, sparking a highway chase that had more twists than a Hollywood action flick.
On the fateful day of May 27th, our mini motorist, measuring in at less than 5 feet tall, nicked a 2017 Buick Encore from Buena Vista, a township just about 35 miles north of Flint, according to a series of tweets from Michigan State Police.
5/27 -TriCity Post Troopers recovered a stolen 2017 Buick Encore that had been stolen from a residence on Hess Ave in Buena Vista. The suspect, a 10-year-old juvenile, was apprehended and lodged at the Saginaw County Juvenile Detention Center. 1/4— MSP Third District (@mspbayregion) June 1, 2023
His mother, waiting some 100 miles away in Detroit.
Apparently, the allure of the family reunion was stronger than a potentially unattended Xbox.
Following a call from OnStar, the high-tech babysitter hidden within the Buick, Saginaw County Central Dispatch was tipped off that the Buick was zipping southbound on Interstate 75.
Saginaw County Central Dispatch received a call from OnStar that the stolen vehicle was SB on I-75 and troopers located the vehicle near the Birch Run exit. They attempted to stop the vehicle, but the driver did not stop. OnStar was able to disable the vehicle safely. 2/4— MSP Third District (@mspbayregion) June 1, 2023
When troopers located the vehicle near the Birch Run exit and tried to pull it over, our little driver proved he wasn’t ready for nap time, refusing to hit the brakes.
Thanks to OnStar’s ingenuity, the authorities managed to disable the SUV, and what followed would have been perfect for a high-octane Pixar movie.
Witnesses reportedly saw the silver SUV swerving across three lanes, wobbling onto the shoulder, and kissing a guardrail hello before the police, with their sirens wailing, caught up.
Simultaneously, several 911 callers also reported that a child was driving a car on I-75 as troopers were attempting to locate it. The vehicle came to a stop after bumping into a guardrail causing minor damage to the vehicle. 3/4 pic.twitter.com/s6jhpLKJ0a— MSP Third District (@mspbayregion) June 1, 2023
But our pint-sized protagonist didn’t go quietly into that good night.
The boy bolted from the car before finally being caught, thus ending his daring adventure on a less than victorious note.
And where does a would-be underage wheelman wind up after such escapades?
The Saginaw County Juvenile Detention Center, according to the police.
The juvenile driver ran from the stolen car before they were taken into custody nearby. No injuries were reported. 4/4— MSP Third District (@mspbayregion) June 1, 2023
Let’s just hope he doesn’t get any ideas about hot-wiring any more cars in the meantime.
For now, we’ll chalk this up as one of the strangest episodes of “Kids Say (and Do) the Darndest Things” we’ve ever heard of.
Man Sues Girlfriend Over Family Heirloom
In a Nutshell:
- A man from Illinois, known as John, is suing his ex-girlfriend after she sold his family’s prized 1972 Ford F100 pickup truck to a junkyard in an act of revenge following a disagreement.
- After learning about the incident, John instantly broke up with her, filed a police report, and managed to retrieve his truck from the junkyard. The truck was sold for $400, significantly less than its estimated worth of $9,500.
- Jasmin Hughes, an attorney specializing in administrative law and consumer protection, explained that John’s ex-girlfriend could face serious legal consequences, as she committed the tort of conversion by knowingly depriving John of his property. John could potentially recover damages including loss of wages and the cost to repair any damage to the truck.
A furious man named John from Illinois is literally taking his ex-girlfriend to the cleaners (or should we say the junkyard) for selling his family’s prized pickup truck to a scrapyard.
According to him, this wasn’t just a road rage incident, but a premeditated attempt to “hurt” him after an argument over their pet cats.
Yes, ladies and gents, we’re dealing with a cat-astrophic breakup here.
You see, this wasn’t just any old pickup truck.
This was a 1972 Ford F100, handed down through his family and kept in pristine condition.
John’s tale of car woe first appeared in a Reddit post titled “My girlfriend sold my car because of a petty argument. I am now suing her,” where he laid out the gritty details of the whole fiasco.
He recalls coming home from the bar one night to find the truck missing and his girlfriend confessing to her auto-atrocity.
The offending girlfriend had sold the truck to a junkyard for a measly 400 dollars, a far cry from its estimated worth of $9,500.
“When I got back home from the bar, I noticed the pickup wasn’t there. I asked her and she told me what she did. I instantly packed up my things, my cat, told her we were done and left,” John explained.
John, like many of us would, quickly broke up with her and has not spoken to her since.
He subsequently filed a police report, tracked down the truck at a local junkyard, and is now ready to gear up for legal action.
Jasmin Hughes, an attorney specializing in administrative law and consumer protection, clarified to Newsweek that John’s ex could be in some serious trouble.
“When someone knowingly takes property with the intention of depriving the owner, they have committed the tort of conversion,” she explained.
Even though the truck was returned, John may still be entitled to damages, potentially covering any loss of wages due to the incident, along with compensation for the damage to the truck, which now sports some unwanted scratch art.
Since this gasoline-infused saga hit Reddit, the post has garnered over 8,800 votes and hundreds of supportive comments cheering John on.
Moral of the story: don’t mess with a man, his cats, or his 1972 Ford F100, especially if you’re not ready for the legal road trip that could follow.
For Sale: High School Listed as Single-Family Home in Oklahoma
In a Nutshell:
- An old high school in Burbank, Oklahoma, originally built in 1924, is listed for sale as a single-family home for a remarkably low price of $60,000.
- The 17,408-square-foot property boasts five bedrooms, four bathrooms, and even features an indoor basketball court, preserving its athletic heritage.
- Prospective buyers have the opportunity to unleash their imagination and transform this historic building into their dream home or explore its potential as a unique commercial space.
In the realm of unusual real estate listings, a peculiar gem has emerged in the form of an old high school in Burbank, Oklahoma.
This historic 17,408-square-foot building, originally known as Burbank High School, has hit the market as a single-family home, listed for the surprisingly modest price of $60,000.
If you’ve ever dreamt of living in a quirky space with a rich history, this might just be the opportunity you’ve been waiting for.
Constructed way back in 1924, this former educational institution has since transformed into a potentially unconventional living space.
The listing on Zillow proudly boasts of the property’s five bedrooms, four bathrooms, and, most intriguingly, an indoor basketball court.
Yes, you read that right—an indoor basketball court!
It seems the spirit of athleticism has lingered long after the school’s closure in 1968.
According to the real estate listing, the old high school presents a myriad of possibilities for its future owners.
“There is plenty of opportunity to make this property your own,” the listing gushes.
“The large lot size and open floor plan provide endless opportunities. With some imagination, this could be the perfect home for you.”
Imagine the creativity that could be unleashed within those spacious walls—a home theater, an artist’s studio, or perhaps even an eccentric museum of oddities.
Not limited to residential use, the realty firm behind the listing suggests that the versatile structure could easily be converted into a commercial space.
So, for those entrepreneurs out there seeking a distinctive building to house their business, this peculiar property might just be the answer to your offbeat aspirations.
Situated at 450 McCorkle Ave. in Burbank, OK, this extraordinary residence has been on the market since May 19, beckoning curious buyers to explore its unconventional charm.
The listing emphasizes that the property remains active on multiple listing services, ensuring its continued presence in the real estate spotlight.
If you’re looking for a conversation starter or a home that breaks the mold, this old high school turned single-family home is a rare find.
With its intriguing history, spacious rooms, and the potential for imaginative transformations, it holds the promise of a truly one-of-a-kind living experience.
So, if you’re in the market for a dash of quirkiness blended with an affordable price tag, this Oklahoma oddity might just be your dream come true.
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