Drakes Beach in the Point Reyes National Seashore became overrun with thousands of worms named Urechis caupo, and when you get a good look at them, you’ll realize why they’re nicknamed “penis fish.”
The thick, 10-inch worms, most commonly seen in the oceans off Northern California, were washed ashore during last weeks storm and created a delicate scene on the popular beach. The worm is a popular food for the nearby otters, sharks and seagulls. And they’re shape make them, well, interesting to the human public.
This may just be the weirdest thing you've seen today!— Bay Nature magazine (@BayNature) December 11, 2019
Thousands of these marine worms, called fat innkeeper worms—or "penis fish"—washed up on Drake's Beach after a recent storm. 🌊 But why? https://t.co/MwY6xkN3kb pic.twitter.com/vGMpSvGoAT
The worms peculiar shape actually performs a purpose, as the worm uses it to create U-shaped burrows in the beach to catch food. But with the storm pushing them onto the beach, seagulls and otters flocked to the beach to enjoy a large meal.
Take a look at what the Fat Inkeeper Worm looks like up close:
Read more about the lives of penis fish in the wild by reading Bay Nature’s full story.