WATCH: Here's the Deal with Those Slimy, Brain-Like Blobs Washing Ashore in Florida and the Carolinas
It's a blob, it's a brain, it's a… sea pork?
Doesn't it seem like every day there's a new kind of bizarre alien lifeform washing up on our beautiful Southern shores? Since we've cleared up the mystery of the weird black pouches littering North Carolina beaches, it's time to address the slimy, pink, brain-like blobs popping up along the coast.
The name for these organ-like creatures is appropriately gross: sea pork. Yes, really.
Despite their unfortunate appearance, sea pork, or tunicates, are considered one of the most evolved of all marine invertebrates. Proud members of the sea squirt family, these amorphous blobs are essentially little water pumps, pumping water in and out of the bodies and extracting nutrients along the way. They attach permanently to hard surfaces, like a rock or a boat, and then get to work at pumping.
Sea pork exist in large colonies, eating and working together to filter the earth's seas. Carlos Chacon, manager of natural history at the Coastal Discovery Museum, told The Charlotte Observer that sea pork wash ashore in large quantities, usually after big storms. Seeing a bunch pop up is a good indication of rough seas.
They weird little creatures can be found anywhere along the Atlantic seaboard and the Gulf of Mexico, and fortunately, they can't hurt you.