Walking along the beach at Three Cliffs Bay we stumbled upon a strange looking object lying on the sands. Our first impressions were that it was some sort of pine cone, though one that was heavily waterlogged. Picking it up revealed a soft composition that when squeezed released a stream of liquid. This prompted a closer inspection revealing a hairy covering on top and a foot-like structure underneath. What we had found was in fact a Sea Cucumber, a new sea creature for both of us.
After I posted this entry a comment from Stu corrected my original identification. This is in fact a Sea Mouse and not a Sea Cucumber as I had originally thought and my thanks go out to him. I’ll admit now that I had never heard of these before so it’s fascinating to have actually found one. Sea Mice are, despite their appearance, a form of marine worm and normally live buried head first in the sand. It’s body is covered in a dense mat of hairs that normally have a red sheen to warn off predators. When light shines on them perpendicularly however they flash green and blue as in my photos below.
Information on Sea Cucumbers:
It’s remarkably hard to find decent information on these creatures from an internet search without being inundated with recipes on how to cook them. Personally I can’t think of anything I’d like to eat less but it takes all sorts I guess. The best information I can find is from Wikipedia’s article which I recommend reading if you want to learn more about these fascinating marine animals. They are also good for hair loss apparently!