Sea Pork

Have you ever been strolling the beach and suddenly said, “What the heck is THAT?”

During our Christmas trip to Florida, we made a stop at Bald Point State Park, and as we hiked up and down the beach, we came across this thing, and that is exactly what we said.

DSC07751

We did all the usual scientific testing, you know, nudging it with our toes, poking it, nudging it again, and I think someone even sniffed it. We still had no idea until we spent an hour on Google.

The strange blobs all over the beach weren’t aliens, whale organs or any of the other interesting guesses our Facebook friends made. They’re called Tunicates, and they’re invertebrate marine filter feeders, more commonly known asĀ sea squirts, sea pork, sea livers, or sea tulips.

Some tunicates, like the sea pineapple, are even edible. But would you eat this?

DSC07822

These particular tunicates got the nickname sea pork because after death, the rubbery tunic bleaches to white resembling salt pork or fatback.

DSC07872

So next time your friends say, “What the heck is that thing?”, you can tell them.