Spoiler: they’re not human organs.  

Meghan Overdeep
November 29, 2018
Facebook/MyFWC

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.

WATCH: 11 Bugs That Look Scary But Are Actually Harmless

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.

Posted by Remys Hilton Head on Friday, October 12, 2018

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.

View this post on Instagram

Blob on the beach. #WhatIsThis

A post shared by Tim Kimrey (@timkimrey) on

They weird little creatures can be found anywhere along the Atlantic seaboard and the Gulf of Mexico, and fortunately, they can’t hurt you.