News > Languedoc


Palavas beach turns purple

LanguedocLiving, Apr 11

Residents of Palavas-les-Flots, Hérault, got a shock when they took their usual morning stroll along the beach this week. 

On Tuesday morning the sand on the beach looked purple.

Billions of jelly-fish-like creatures were washed ashore. They are known as “vélleles” (Velella in English).

“I first thought petrol had spilled in the sea, seeing as all the beaches are covered for miles, but no, these are jellyfish” one resident told FranceInfo radio. 

Velella are not officially jellyfish although they are in the same family of creatures known as Cnidaria. They are often called "by the wind sailors" or "sea-rafts".

The Velella move together in large groups, and due to the heavy winds in the last three weeks, they have been pushed to the shoreline. Reportedly, this is the first time it’s happened in the South of France.

A clean-up operation was due to take place on Wednesday and Thursday.


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