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Nature & Environment

Mystery marine creatures found washed up on beach

By T.K. Randall
July 21, 2022 · Comment icon 8 comments

What is this thing ? Image Credit: Facebook / Cape Lookout National Seashore
Park staff at Cape Lookout National Seashore posted up images of the organisms to ask if anyone could help identify them.
Resembling long, black tentacle-like structures with small bristle-like protrusions down either side, these peculiar marine creatures were found washed up on a beach in North Carolina last week.

"Weird things found on the beach -- okay everybody, we need some help identifying these objects," staff at Cape Lookout National Seashore wrote in a Facebook post accompanying the images.

"Our turtle patrol found them on the ocean side beach recently adjacent to a log covered in goose-neck barnacles (no idea if they are connected to the log or if its just a coincidence)."

"So far, we're stumped as to what they might be."
"They were about 6 inches long and no longer alive. One guess was they might be a form of sea cucumber (or sea slug?), but they couldn't be matched to any images that were posted online."

The posting soon generated quite a few replies, with users suggesting a number of explanations including the possibility that these could be some form of bristle worms or fire worms.

Several indicated that they were likely to be some form of marine polychaete, while admitting that it would take a marine biologist specializing in the annelids to determine exactly what type they could be.

You can check out the original posting (and images) below.

Source: AOL News | Comments (8)

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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by the13bats 2 years ago
Well since there are 2 im guessing not rare just unknown to most.
Comment icon #2 Posted by HandsomeGorilla 2 years ago
Bristles? Worms? Gee, wouldn't happen to actually be a bristleworm, would it? 
Comment icon #3 Posted by openozy 2 years ago
Might be the last two ? lol.
Comment icon #4 Posted by openozy 2 years ago
If they were found 6ft deep in the sand I'll say Bigfoot combs.
Comment icon #5 Posted by jethrofloyd 2 years ago
A young tremors?
Comment icon #6 Posted by DreadLordAvatar 2 years ago
I was more surprised to learn that AOL still exists! How mysterious, wow!
Comment icon #7 Posted by the13bats 2 years ago
Spoiler, i was gonna see how long it went.
Comment icon #8 Posted by TomO' 2 years ago
When I first started fishing off the coast of Cape Cod, sand worms were the bait of choice. They worked, but lures then became the bait of choice. It's been a long time, but I believe those dead creatures may be sandworms. Here's a link to a picture (prepare yourself for some ugliness):

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