3729SEASTARS251-620x349Sea stars up and down the Pacific Coast are dying off in record numbers, and scientists say they can’t figure out what’s going on. Reports indicate that in some areas of Washington State, for instance, upwards of 80 percent of the sea star population has vanished, while other areas are reporting strange phenomena like sea star limbs falling off and literally walking away on their own — what one marine group coordinator likened to “an alien thing.” For the past several years, students, environmentalists, and even ordinary citizens have noticed a drastic increase in the number of gravely ill or dead sea stars littering the West Coast. One group that monitors sea life around Island County, Washington, says sea stars are increasingly succumbing to a mystery disease that some have dubbed “star wasting” syndrome that, when it runs its full course, causes sea stars to disintegrate. More