Animals

Penis-fish are washed onto a California beach, in thousands after storm pulled them from their underwater burrows

Advertisements

Thousands of ‘penis-fish’ have washed ashore Drakes Beach, California. 

Formally known as fat innkeeper worm, an expert believes a recent storm forced the worms out of their underwater homes and carried them to the beach -leaving them exposed to predators.

This 10-inch marine creature looks like a ‘pink sausage’ and creates U-shaped burrows in mud or sand that it leaves behind for other creatures to move in – hence its name ‘innkeeper’. 

The sea of these ‘penis-fish’ was spotted by biologists Ivan Parr on December 6 after a storm hit the area.

‘The same phenomenon has been reported over the years at Pajaro Dunes, Moss Landing, Bodega Bay, and Princeton Harbor,’ Parr wrote for Bay Nature.

Scroll down for videos 

Thousands of 'penis-fish' have washed ashore Drakes Beach, California . Formally known as fat innkeeper worm, an expert believes a recent storm forced the worms out of their underwater homes and carried them to the beach -leaving them exposed to predators
Thousands of ‘penis-fish’ have washed ashore Drakes Beach, California . Formally known as fat innkeeper worm, an expert believes a recent storm forced the worms out of their underwater homes and carried them to the beach -leaving them exposed to predators

‘I’ve heard my share of imaginative theories from beachcombers, such as flotsam of a wrecked bratwurst freighter.’

‘In truth, these are living denizens of our beaches rudely, yet also mercifully, mostly called ‘fat innkeeper worms.’

Advertisements

The fat innkeeper worm is a type of spoon worm with a spatula-shape limb, which it uses to both feed and swim.

It spends most of its existence underground in muddy and sandy parts of the sea floor – and it lives for up to 25 years.

This 10-inch marine creature looks like a 'pink sausage' and creates U-shaped burrows in mud or sand that it leaves behind for other creatures to move in - hence its name 'innkeeper'. The sea of these 'penis-fish' was spotted by biologists Ivan Parr on December 6 after a storm hit the area
This 10-inch marine creature looks like a ‘pink sausage’ and creates U-shaped burrows in mud or sand that it leaves behind for other creatures to move in – hence its name ‘innkeeper’. The sea of these ‘penis-fish’ was spotted by biologists Ivan Parr on December 6 after a storm hit the area

They dine on bacteria, plankton and other smalls particles, which  it captures using ‘slime nets’ that are consumed once they have caught enough food with it. 

Innkeeper worms create U-shaped burrows as their temporary home, which are then used by other creatures – hence the its name ‘innkeeper’.

The burrow includes a sand chimney that allows it to enter and exit, and a way to capture food.

Experts have found evidence of these creatures in history, as there are U-shaped burrows dating back 300 million years. 

The fat innkeeper worm is a type of spoon worm with a spatula-shape limb, which it uses to both feed and swim. It spends most of its existence underground in muddy and sandy parts of the sea floor - and it lives for up to 25 years
The fat innkeeper worm is a type of spoon worm with a spatula-shape limb, which it uses to both feed and swim. It spends most of its existence underground in muddy and sandy parts of the sea floor – and it lives for up to 25 years
Advertisements
They may be a rare siting in the US, but South Korea, Japan and China. Those who have dined on this worm have said it is chewy, salty and surprisingly sweet. It's often served with a savory sauce made from sesame oil and salt or a spicier dip consisting of vinegar and gochujang
They may be a rare siting in the US, but South Korea, Japan and China. Those who have dined on this worm have said it is chewy, salty and surprisingly sweet. It’s often served with a savory sauce made from sesame oil and salt or a spicier dip consisting of vinegar and gochujang

However, because of their size and soft bodies, they have many threats including otters, sharks seagulls and humans – but experts say they are harmless and passive creatures.

They may be a rare siting in the US, but South Korea, Japan and China.

Those who have dined on this worm have said it is chewy, salty and surprisingly sweet.

It’s often served with a savory sauce made from sesame oil and salt or a spicier dip consisting of vinegar and gochujang. 

Those who prefer their penis fish cooked might grill it on a skewer with salt, pepper, and sesame oil.

share your thought with us on this article .

Sign up for Talkmoreblog’s Newsletter. For the latest news, follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.