It’s catching the attention of both visitors and locals… big amounts of starfish have washed up along the coast of Tybee Beach.

And many are asking why.

In the photo below, Heather Honeycutt captured this moment on Tybee today.

Well… there are a few theories. First, we saw a relatively mild winter. A warmer winter might mean more of last year’s seastars survived for this year and/or more young seastars were born this spring.

Another idea is the current onshore wind.

Also, we tend to see more starfish this time of year because there are more living organisms in the intertidal zone for them to feed on. As winter comes, they tend to head back out closer to the shelf.

And finally, the water is relatively warm right now near the coast this summer. The warmer ocean water could cause fewer predators being in the waters to eat the starfish.

According to the Coastal Carolina University’s Marine Science Department, any of the theories could be contributing factors.