New Zealand is truly amazing. Its coasts harbor some of the most fascinating creatures in the world, from vibrantly colorful sea snakes to the smallest penguin in the world; it simply never ceases to amaze us. However, this time it has really puzzled us with a weird look object that just washed up on the shore of Muriwai Beach.
The strange object appeared on Muriwai Beach in Auckland last week and was spotted by Melissa Doubleday, a local resident. The sight was confusing and rather shocking so understandably she took some pictures with the intention to post them online and gather opinions about what it could be. She posted the pictures on Muriwai & Waimauku Area Community Group’s Facebook page hoping to get an explanation, but the public was not very helpful.
There were a million suggestions, ranging from alien spacecraft, a work of art and someone even suggested it was a “Rastafarian whale”. I guess that’s what you get when you turn to the Internet for answers.
Fortunately, there were a few helpful individuals who apparently took the matter seriously and provided some real information regarding the weird-looking object. As some of them suggested, it’s probably a large piece of drift wood with gooseneck barnacles growing on it. And judging by their distinctive purple-brown tentacles they’re probably smooth gooseneck barnacles (Lepas anatifera).
For quite some time, many people believed that the Barnacle geese (the bird) actually hatched from these strange barnacles because surprisingly no European has ever seen the geese lay eggs so they drew the ‘logical’ conclusion. In modern times the gooseneck barnacles are a real delicacy, especially in Spain and can cost a couple hundred dollars a plate.