To make matters even worse, and to further aid it’s name of a ‘penis fish’, when the tide is in, the worm slides up to the chimney of its burrow and exudes a sticky mucous net from a ring of glands. Sometimes you can see these mucous nets, looking like decaying jellyfish, draped around the burrow entrance. The worm continues to secrete as it slips lower into the burrow, generating a slime-net that stretches from the chimney to the worm’s mouth.
Thanks to David Attenborough’s Blue Plant series, everyone knows how weird the fish can look – everyone remembers that strange fish with the balloon head, right? Well, this “fish” discovered on a beach in California takes weird to new levels.
Dubbed the ‘penis fish’, thousands of them have washed up on Drakes Beach, California, leaving local residents completely stunned of the likeliness the fish holds to a certain part of the male body.
The official name for the interesting creature is a fat innkeepers worm, a name which they get because they live and burrow in sand and mud that often contain other animals. Interesting – a property developing fish.
The sea of these ‘penis-fish’ was spotted by biologists Ivan Parr on December 6 after a storm hit the area.
The Koreans and Japanese aren’t their only predator though, apparently otters, flounders, sharks, rays and gulls are known to eat them too.
One California local on Facebook said:
Oh no, the weenie worms are getting stranded again! We don’t call them ‘weenie’ worms anymore, though. The animal scientifically known as Urechis caupo now has the more dignified common name of Fat Innkeeper Worm. Which doesn’t change what it closely resembles, alas.
So, whilst the rest of the world will be doing a double take at the pictures, it appears the ‘weenie worms’ are frequent visitors at that beach in particular.
Gaebul / Natural King Penis Fish (Spoon Worm) Sashimi / Fat innkeeper worm, Urechis unicinctus / Oido Fish Market / Korean Seafood / Korean Street Food
How to Cut, Eat Spoon Worm, Korea