(Warning: these are cursed images. Don't say you weren't warned.)
On the 6th December 2019, an unsuspecting man went for a relaxing stroll on his local beach only to find thousands of writhing penis fish had been washed ashore. You're probably thinking "What the heck are penis fish?" and we don't blame you. Penis fish are a type of marine worm that look uncannily like the penises of grown men. And not in a good way. Read on for the whole bizarre story.
Check out these interesting science GIFs if you want to continue your journey of unintended education.
This article was originally reported by VICE.
We all have our own sea related horrors, from Jaws to giant squid to tsunamis. But after this incident, we've added one more thing to our list: a beach jam-packed with writhing penis fish *shudder*. We really feel for David Ford, the guy who discovered this nightmarish phenomena. He told Motherboard, VICE, that he had no idea what the penis-like things were when he came across them. He took some photos and asked an online forum, only then discovering that these cursed creatures exist (and some people in South Korea eat them - excuse us while we vomit).
'Penis fish' are actually called Urechis unicinctus, or Fat Innkeeper Worms. They are designed to live their whole lives underground, which may explain their horrible appearances.
Fat Innkeeper Worms dig U-shaped burrows on beached of mudflats, extending for a few feet but no wider than the worm. They set up a mucus net at one end of the hole that traps potential food particles. After eating whatever food particles it can from the water, it'll eat the mucus net and get those tasty nutrients. Whatever larger food bits are leftover are freebies for the other creatures that live in the area, like shrimps, crabs and other worms. At least they share.
Why thousands of these cursed creatures ended up on a beach in California may be related to the storm they had the night before. It's not the first time it has happened and probably won't be the last. So next time you head to the beach, be prepared. You never know when you'll stumble upon a thousand squirming penis fish.
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