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Blue Buttons Are Making Their New Jersey Debut Thanks to Hurricane Florence

And no, they're not jellyfish.


Hurricane Florence's high wind speeds and buckets of rainfall didn't make their way up to the Jersey shore, but the storm that swept the Carolinas didn't completely ignore New Jersey residents. Thanks to the hurricane, beachgoers that far north are getting a chance to see the rare blue button.

Blue buttons are often referred to as jellyfish, because that's what they look like.

blue buttons new jersey Wikimedia/Tanay PrabhuDesai

Their gorgeous circular bellies have intricate patterns and are surrounded by what look like tentacles of all shapes and sizes.

blue buttons new jersey Public Domain

But those aren't really tentacles, and that body isn't a jellyfish orb.

blue buttons new jersey Wikimedia/Adityamadhav83

It's actually a colony of hydrozoan polyps, which makes it similar to another marine animal commonly mistaken for a jellyfish: the highly poisonous Portuguese man o' war.

blue buttons new jersey Shutterstock

Blue buttons contain toxins, too, but they aren't typically as lethal as the dreaded Portuguese man o' war. Sometimes, contact with blue buttons can cause some mild skin irritation, but it usually isn't anything worse than that.

That's great news for the residents of New Jersey, since they've been popping up over the state's beaches for the first time.

Suzanne Willis Schenker was one of the residents to spot the incredible-looking creatures and post photos of her findings to the Facebook page of the New Jersey Jellyspotters Club.


She said she couldn't resist sharing photos of such a vibrant creature she wasn't used to seeing on Jersey land.

Experts say that the animals typically reside in the much warmer waters near Florida, but Hurricane Florence's mighty winds facilitated their journey up north. Unfortunately, it will probably be a short-lived journey, as the blue buttons will likely have trouble surviving in the cooler climate near New Jersey.

So if you're in the area and want to catch a blue button glimpse, it's best to head out now — just remember not to touch it!

Add your name right now to make a difference for marine life and our oceans with Oceana.

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