Wednesday, February 29, 2012

What is it?

I bet you've seen it but do you know what it is?
You can find it on area beaches at any time of year but the winter beach seems to be full of it, especially after a big wind that stirs up the waves.

We found this specimen on Sandy Neck in Barnstable  today. In fact, we saw a lot of them.

When I was a kid my mom told me it was whale poop ;-) It isn't, though. It is actually an organism--or more correctly, a colony of organisms called zooids, encased in a layer or layers of cellulose. It feels a bit rubbery and can come in various shapes, sizes and colors though the average seems to be about 4-6 inches wide.

I found this information on Sea Pork to be helpful and this blog on sea pork has lots of interesting photos.


  1. My friend George Campbell, RIP, once wrote a book called "The Nature of Things on Sanibel," about just what it says, back in the days when Sanibel hadn't yet become an official playground for the 1 percent. It's a great book and you should try to find one. If memory serves, George (formerly International Coordinator for the Fund for Animals and some kind of big cheese at Parke-Davis) has a cool essay in there about sea pork, sea peaches, etc. ... Great owl photo, btw.

  2. Thanks for the info! and the compliment ;-)

  3. I have never seen one of these I dont believe. Interesting. Thanks Mary