Ten years on... what are these gross squishy things?
August 4, 2014 4:42 PM   Subscribe

About ten years ago this gross picture (NSFDinner) of whatever they are made the rounds online. I think they were described as "shark eggs" but they're obviously not. I FINALLY found the picture again today and tried to reverse-google-image-search it in the hope there was now more info... nothing. So, Mefites, do YOU know what they are?
posted by ClarissaWAM to Science & Nature (13 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Milt? Fish sperm? I don't know what else it's called.
posted by A Terrible Llama at 4:44 PM on August 4, 2014 [1 favorite]

More precisely?
posted by A Terrible Llama at 4:45 PM on August 4, 2014

It is cod or other fish sperm, sometimes euphemistically called soft roe. I used to see it in grocery stores when I lived in Japan.
posted by Muttoneer at 4:47 PM on August 4, 2014 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: Hm. That would be a seriously massive fish though. (See human foot on the lower right for scale.)
posted by ClarissaWAM at 4:47 PM on August 4, 2014

That foot does not look like it was part of the original photo.
posted by hydra77 at 4:58 PM on August 4, 2014

Response by poster: A suggestion from Twitter is shark liver (left lobe) as seen here.
(On preview, the foot looks pretty authentic to me? Anyway I'm off to bed now so done threadsitting.)
posted by ClarissaWAM at 5:03 PM on August 4, 2014

It looks like milt to me too. I've cooked it often and it's delicious fried! Really, my mouth is watering. Its consistency in the photo looks much more like milt than like liver. Milt was commonly available in the fishmonger's shop in the country town of my youth, as was fish roe, and I wish I could have some of either on toast for tea right now.

I can't explain the foot, though, unless it was a truly massive fish.
posted by anadem at 5:34 PM on August 4, 2014 [1 favorite]

nthing that it looks like milt. As for their size-- they (not the foot) appear to have been edited. Despite the brightest red coloration being only found in the upper right portion of the image, both organs are outlined entirely with a fairly bright red hue - even when the water/sand in those areas show no blood/red. This makes me believe they are actually much smaller and were enlarged (and extended to the left) in this particular image.
posted by stubbehtail at 6:24 PM on August 4, 2014 [3 favorites]

Here is a sport fishing website that talks about the organs and provides some photos:

posted by littlewater at 7:54 PM on August 4, 2014 [1 favorite]

Came in to say milt too. The size isn't unreasonable for a large fish, the gonads in fish are huge relative to their size.
posted by fshgrl at 8:19 PM on August 4, 2014

I think they're fish ovaries. Some pictures for comparison.
posted by painquale at 6:40 AM on August 5, 2014

Also, if they are ovaries, then the original caption of "shark eggs" would not necessarily be incorrect. The smashed sac on top might be an ovary that is spilling out a whole bunch of eggs. Shark eggs are big late in their development, but when they are immature they look like the goo in the picture. Here's an example of immature shark eggs spilling out of a shark ovary.
posted by painquale at 6:46 AM on August 5, 2014

Response by poster: Thanks all! I guess the consensus is definitely "something reproductive from fish", so the original caption wasn't far off. Yet again Metafilter has taught me something new!
posted by ClarissaWAM at 7:04 AM on August 5, 2014

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