Alien visitors to our shores pose no danger, the Department of Conservation says.
Thousands of velella, commonly known as by-the-winds sailors, have been washed up on Taranaki beaches.
Department of Conservation partnership ranger Mike Tapp said the creatures lived on the surface of the open ocean.
They had a small stiff sail that caught the wind and propelled them over the surface of the sea, he said.
"When you get westerlies as we've been having they get stranded on our beaches," Mr Tapp said despite the resemblance to blue bottles, velella were harmless to humans.
- © Fairfax NZ News
Should the NPDC councillors get iPads?Related story: Tech-wary councillors hedge their bets