Marine biologists, what was that thing I saw all the time in Bermuda?
July 30, 2016 3:07 PM   Subscribe

I lived in Bermuda for a few years as a little kid. I remember swimming in shallow water and encountering this tubular/ intestine shaped, orangey translucent mass of...stuff...that seemed to ooze up from the sand.

I encountered it a few times. What the hell was it? I remember the older kids used to grab it and try to gross out the younger kids with it, so whatever it was, it wasn't deadly. Was it some sort of weird egg sac? From what? Thanks!
posted by Klaxon Aoooogah to Science & Nature (7 answers total)
 
Did it look like this?
posted by Hermione Granger at 3:14 PM on July 30, 2016


Nope, it was always completely submerged in shallow-ish water and would sort of billow up from the bottom. To the best of my recollection, it was probably 1 -2 inches in diameter. It would just sort of wave to and fro with the current. I don't know if it was emerging from a hole in the sand or otherwise attached to something, but I believe the bottom was sand. As a 7 or 8 year old, I wouldn't have been in deep water. It was definitely always underwater.
posted by Klaxon Aoooogah at 3:49 PM on July 30, 2016


So, my brother, who has a PhD in slimy things says:
"My best guess is annelid eggs but there are zillions of different types and I've never been to Bermuda. He should also look into Leptosynapta, which is a foot-less sea cucumber that lives in the sand."
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 4:02 PM on July 30, 2016 [3 favorites]


I was going to say sea cucumber too - they seem gross enough to fit.
posted by Toddles at 5:35 PM on July 30, 2016


Most likely it was the plume from a tube worm. Google image that and see if it fits. You won't see the worm or its case, it's under the substrate but it sends up a feathery feeding apparatus that can be very large. There are a wide variety of colors, shapes etc.
posted by fshgrl at 6:50 PM on July 30, 2016


Thanks, all. Fshgrl, I don't think it was a plume...it was a multi-tubed-gelatinous-goo thingy that the kids used to, uh, scoop up and scare the younger kids with. It was an oozy, blobulous thing. Sort of transluclently orange. I think it was some sort of egg sac, per KC's bro, above.
posted by Klaxon Aoooogah at 2:55 PM on July 31, 2016


Did you ever see it move under its own power? If so, I lend support to the cucumber theory. If not, I lend support to the egg mass hypothesis. Did it look like any of these things?
posted by deadbilly at 10:12 PM on August 2, 2016


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