What is that!? And why is it on an Oregon beach?

What is that!? And why is it on an Oregon beach?
A beached salpa (left) next to a ballpoint pen

CANNON BEACH, Ore. – Reports of strange gelatinous material on some beaches on the Oregon Coast begs the question: What the heck is that stuff? 

"These strange gooey substances are actually animals called salps," said Tiffany Boothe with the Seaside Aquarium.

Boothe said salps feed on plankton as they ride along with the ocean's currents.

"Sometimes, when following a closer inshore current, strong westerly winds can drive them into the surf where they get beat up and eventually get stranded on the beach," Boothe said.

That is likely what happened leading up to Tuesday, when the salps showed up en masse on the Oregon Coast this week.

"There are literally thousands of these salps on Cannon Beach," Boothe said Tuesday afternoon.

SHARE YOUR PHOTOS: See something strange in the wild? Share your videos and photos, and we'll see if we can't figure out what it is!