Homeowners on Newman Lake woke up to an unusual surprise along their docks when they discovered jellyfish. 

Barbie Wheeler saw hundreds of freshwater jellyfish floating around her Newman Lake dock on Thursday. She thought the tiny creatures were cotton balls at first. 

“I didn't know there was such a thing as freshwater jellyfish until a couple years ago when they first showed up,” said Wheeler.

An environmental engineer with Spokane County said the freshwater jellyfish were first spotted at Newman Lake in 2012. In fact, freshwater jellyfish sitings are not uncommon in other states' lakes with warm water. Engineers believed the creatures ended up in Newman Lake thanks to boats or birds.

Wheeler said she has been assured they are not as dangerous as they look. County engineers said the jellyfish are so small that their stingers will not penetrate through human skin.