Swimming filmed in Lake Merritt in Oakland is an alien creature

OAKLAND. ~ A rower who captured footage of a bizarre creature with spindly tentacles rippling through the waters of Lake Merritt and shared it with KTVU the week before was completely puzzled by what he saw. In the short, just 15 seconds long, some audience members commenting on the event saw parallels between the translucent species and a spider and jellyfish. According to Claudia Mills, a jelly expert who works at the University of Washington’s Friday Harbor Laboratories, the amount of its tentacles, the way it swam, and its orange hue all indicate it’s most likely a hydromedusa. known as Gonionemus vertens. , also called clinging jellyfish. This conclusion was reached after considering these factors.

Because of the way it “clings” to seagrass beds and other surfaces throughout the day, this slimy species got its name. Its natural habitat extends across the North Pacific, from Vietnam to the southernmost part of the Sea of ​​Okhotsk, and also includes Alaska, the Pacific Northwest, and the rest of the United States. According to Christina Piotrowski, senior manager of invertebrate zoology collections at the California Academy of Sciences, quoted in an email, “it seems quite rare” in southern California, suggesting the species was intentionally there. brought. According to the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center, the first population of this species to be documented on the West Coast was found in a lagoon located on the UC Santa Barbara campus in 1965.

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