Sea butterflies wash onto Volusia beaches

Last Updated: Wednesday, August 02, 2017, 6:42 PM EDT

Beach Safety officials were flagged down several times Tuesday for fiberglass on the beach. 

Instead, it turned out to be sea butterflies.

The tiny, clear needle-like mollusks have been washing up on the beaches as Tropical Depression Emily churned up the Atlantic. The creatures are more common in the warm Caribbean waters.

"It got real prickly on our feet and we were like, 'Oh that's kind of weird," said Dustin Kammler at Daytona Beach on Wednesday. "Just kind of a little prickly, like touching, lightly touching a cactus."

Volusia County Beach Safety said the creatures are harmless and non-toxic, but they are very sharp. If someone gets stuck with one, it will feel like a splinter.

"We've been avoiding it ever since we first stepped on it, especially now that we know it's living," Kammler said.

Beach Safety flew the purple flag Tuesday because of the creatures.