Blue Buttons are a type of jellyfish classified as Chondrophores. These are actually colonies of polyps (similar to the Portuguese Man-of-War). In other words, they are like a tiny colony of animals. Each animal contributes something different to the colony. Some form the central disk, while others form the tentacles. Blue buttons exist in colonies, and mass beachings frequently occur since they are at the mercy of the wind and water currents. Blue buttons generally measure 1.5 inches across or less, and are generally dark blue or turquoise in color, although a lemon-yellow color variant is said to occur, though I've never received any field reports of the yellow variation.
The above video was shot by Julie U. in Daytona Beach. She and her mom Janet captured the blue button and were carrying it around trying to see if anyone knew what it was.
Field reports indicate that in general, humans do not feel a sting when coming into contact with Blue Buttons. However, I have received several reports of individuals who say they felt either stinging or skin irritation from contact with Blue Buttons.
To view my database on Blue Button (Porpita) sightings reported to me since June 2006, visit my blog post about Blue Button sightings.
For more info, see the following sources:
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