There are a lot of strange creatures in the sea!

Several unusual creatures washed up on Tide Pool Beach at The Sea Ranch recently, discovered by the Sarkisian family of Portland, Oregon. Christy Sarkisian wrote, “There were several sea-looking centipedes that washed up on July 3rd. In 20 years of coming to Sea Ranch we have never seen anything like it. They were like a centipede with thousands of legs, but on the side of their bodies, wiggling. They were unable to really move on the sand at all.

Mussel Worm, Nereis vexillosa, by Christy Sarkisian (1024x768)

“They were green in color and light red on their undersides. Of the four that washed up, they varied in size from 12 to 36 inches, all curled up. One rode the tide out, and seemed to swim away like an eel.”

Two Mussel Worms, Nereis vexillosa, by Christy Sarkisian

Local diver Eric Anderson knew they were worms, guessing Clam worms. Carol Preston of NOAA believes they were Mussel worms, Nereis vexillosa. She wrote, “I have seen them a few times, but not often. They can get quite big, and they mainly feed on other worms.”

Thanks to Christy for allowing me to share her photos with you here. It's fun to learn more about the fascinating creatures that live in the ocean.

2 thoughts on “There are a lot of strange creatures in the sea!

  1. Leola Kealoha

    Found one of these creatures last week on a field trip with a fifth grade class from Laytonville. We camped with the PEEC science camp. They couldn't identify it. All the kids were amazed along with my self.

    Reply
    1. Jeanne Jackson

      Post author

      Leola, they are a rare sighting. In the eleven years of doing my column, I have had three sightings of them.

      Reply

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