A bizarre sea creature that washed up on a beach in Australia has baffled locals and internet users, including some who thought it looked like an alien.
The mysterious being was found on a beach in Broome, on Western Australia’s Indian Ocean coastline, according to a Reddit user who posted a photo of it.
The puzzled Redditor said it was discovered by his mum and girlfriend while they were out for a walk, and he asked fellow users to identify it.
The picture shows the creature on the sand with dozens of black tentacles protruding from a round white body.
The man wrote: "Mother and girlfriend found this on the beach today. Any idea what it is?"
He added: This was found in Broome, Western Australia. I have googled many things, but searching for ‘black and White Sea creature’ keeps getting me colour ins for children, while hillarious, is also frustrating."
Fellow Reddit users were just as stumped and speculated what it could be – while others warned against touching the creature.
One wrote: "What the heck. They look like a bacteriophage or some sort of alien."
Another added: "What part of that thing is the mouth?"
People commenting in the thread said it was an upside down sea anemone, likely an armed, or striped, anemone.
They can grow up to 50cm (20ins) in waters off Western Australia and their highly venomous sting – which paralyses smaller prey – can be extremely painful to humans.
One wrote: "It looks like dying or dead Crimson Anemone. The black and white color is likely due to illness or death. Otherwise, the patterns are an exact match."
Related video: Mystery sea creature found on shore in Vietnam
Another added: "It’s an anemone, the mouth is protruding. The color is probably not true to life, but bleached by the sun a bit."
And one posted: "It’s almost definitely and upside down anemone."
Other Reddit users warned against touching it.
One wrote: "Probably already been said but I wouldn’t touch it! It’s more than likely an anemone and some can cause serious pain or numbness from the venom they hold.
"I’ve worked with fish tanks for a long time and from accidentally touching small ones, I’ve had my whole arm go numb."
What is a sea anemone?
Found in oceans all over the world, including Britain, anemones are sometimes called the "flowers of the sea" due to the tentacles they use to catch food including plankton, crabs and fish.
They are closely related to jellyfish and corals, belonging to the group Cnidarians, the Marine Biological Association says.
The creatures use stinging cells to capture prey and protect themselves against predators, and they attach themselves to rocks or burrow into the sea floor.
Some reproduce through internal fertilisation, releasing fully formed young anemones from their mouths, the MBA says.
Most can reproduce asexually through budding.
Some turn fluorescent green under ultra violet light, and the mouth of an anemone is also their bottom.
They can live as long as 80 years and they are not known to be aggressive towards humans, although they have a highly venomous sting.
There are more than 70 species of anemone in Britain’s waters.
Top news stories from Mirror Online
Source: Read Full Article