A man strolling on a beach in Edinburgh, Scotland, stumbled upon a bizarre-looking, fluorescent green sea creature.
When Mike Arnott spotted the strange alien-like creature in the sand along Portobello Beach, he initially assumed it was a moss-covered pinecone, but later realized the creature was “alive,” the Independent reported.
“I saw this fluorescent green thing with weird needles – I had no idea what it was. The bright green and gold colours drew me straight to it. I flipped it over and saw it had lots of tiny legs – I had never seen anything like it. It being an alien definitely crossed my mind – or I thought it might be something from way out in the deep sea,” Arnott told Edinburgh Live.
However, when the images of the creature were circulated around via social media, Pete Haskell from the Scottish Wildlife Trust dismissed Arnott’s speculations. Haskell identified the animal as a sea mouse, a type of worm.
“It looks a bit strange being out of the water, but it’s a type of marine bristle worm that’s found all around the U.K. coast,” Haskell said.
Due to the unusual look of the worm, it was hard to establish its origin. Images shared on social media shows the creature with shimmering green and gold bristles. The bristles can also flash green, blue or red, to warn off predators. They can grow up to 30 cm in length and feed on small crabs and hermit crabs and other worms.
In September, a mysterious creature from the deep sea washed up on a beach in Golden Bay’s Farewell Spit in New Zealand. A tour guide, Anton Donaldson was taking tourists on a trip when they heard about the creature.
“My colleague Andy was ahead of me and [texted] to say you’re in for a surprise. He didn’t elaborate on what it was,” Donaldson told the Herald, adding that the creature was like a giant white lump lying on the shore. The tourists were shocked to see the rare creature up close.
“I announced it to the passengers and we all got out to take a look. They were full of excitement. For most people it’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity or not even a once-in-a-lifetime,” Donaldson said. “It’s not a common find on any beach so if you’re able to be there at the right time, because things that wash up on the beach, organic material doesn’t last on the beach.”