Thousands of starfish wash ashore along the Grand Strand
HORRY COUNTY, S.C. – Beachgoers had the surprise of a lifetime this past weekend as thousands of starfish washed ashore along several Grand Strand beaches, including Garden City Beach and Myrtle Beach.
An expert from Ripley’s Aquarium in Myrtle Beach says the starfish appearing like this has to do with their feeding patterns, and said it’s likely the starfish followed their prey, such as barnacles and clams, into the inter-tidal zone.
Stormy weather can sometimes be another reason large masses of starfish wash ashore. As water currents become stronger, they are pushed onto the beaches.
While the starfish may appear to be stranded, they also have the ability to return to the water when they’ve been exposed for too long, so touching them is not recommended.
- Starfish aren’t actually fish but they DO have to breathe to stay alive. The only way they do that is underwater. They will suffocate in the air.
- Starfish react to small changes in their environment and can be “stressed” easily.
- Starfish are extremely fragile and they have tiny structures all over their bodies that can be damaged when touched.
- Humans can pass along bacteria which can kill the starfish.
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