Beach combers and marine educators near the Washington state coastline are finding something they’ve never before seen on the shores.
A gelatinous, nearly transparent sea creature that resembles a jelly fish and a slug, known as a salp.
The creatures have what appear to be green horns at one end and rows of muscles at the other end.
From what scientists know, the species shouldn’t be able to survive in the cold North Pacific, NBC News reports.
‘This was a first stumper for me in many years,’ local environmental educational specialist Alan Rammer told the news outlet. ‘I didn’t know what it was.’
The reason local residents are seeing an appearance of salps in 2013: ‘We have climate shift going on,’ says Rammer.
‘It’s moving north and inhabiting an area that wasn’t habitable for it.’
Salps move through the ocean by contracting, thereby pumping water through their gelatinous bodies.
The slimy creatures strain the pumped water through its internal feeding filters, feeding on phytoplankton in the process.
An NBC reporter was able to find two of salps within a couple of hundred yards.
Commercial crab fishers are finding them in their crab pots.
So far the creatures haven’t caused any problems, locals say. However, fish and wildlife watch groups are keeping an eye on the increase of salps.