Thousands of starfish wash up on South Carolina beachs during low tidejuin 30, 2020
The large mass of wriggling critters ended up on the shore of Garden City Beach and in Surfside.
Residents and tourists rushed to play in the mass of wriggling starfish, collecting some and putting handfuls of others back into the water.
Ann Malys Wilson, an interpretative ranger at Myrtle Beach State Park, told The Sun News the starfish are known as Lined Sea Stars and can wash up with strong waves, depending on the current.
“We tend to see more sea creatures when it’s warmer water,” she told the paper.
Wilson added that people should put the 5-legged creatures back in the water, but they must be careful since their arms are fragile and can break.
Starfish sightings increased over the weekend, with returning them to the sea.
Dakota Hughes, an aquarist from Ripley’s Aquarium, told WPDE-TV that starfish washing up on South Carolina beaches is normal.
“We see them more this time of year because there are more living organisms in the intertidal zone for them to feed on,” he told the television station. “As winter comes, they tend to head back out closer to the shelf.”
Hughes added, however, in the five years he has worked in the area that he’s never seen as many starfish as the ones that washed up in recent days.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.