Very awkward news has appeared this week on a California beach, that thousands of marine worms named as “penis fish” for their shape and color are seen after a strong winter storm.
These worms like creatures, more commonly known as fat innkeeper worms, packed Drakes Beach, 50 miles north of San Francisco.
Despite their attention-grabbing appearance, the energetic worms which reach a length of 10 inches are highly skilled and can dig U-shaped burrows on beaches and marshes, using the tunnels to catch food. From the front end of its burrow, the worm coughs up a net of mucus to catch tiny seaside nibbles like plankton, bacteria and other detritus that happen to pass by. When the worm sucks this net back into its mouth, it holds onto choice morsels and tosses the rest away through the back end of its burrow. It does this by spraying a jet of water out of its butt.
These wrigglers are found almost exclusively in California, they are considered as a cooking delicacy in South Korea, which is supposed to stimulate sexual desire effects.
No doubt the physical appearance of the fat innkeeper worm justifies the name given to it said by biologist Ivan Parr. But in the true sense, the fat innkeeper is perfectly shaped like this for a life spent underground.
Parr also explained that in a column on the Bay Nature website this week that fossil evidence of the animals dates back at least 300 million years. They are the food of otters, flounders, sharks, rays, gulls, and humans. Humans eat them as sashimi, fried or grilled.
In this case, the worms got exposed out due to heavy rain. Strong storms broke apart the sediments and left the worms exposed on the shore.
The beach is named after Francis Drake, who is believed to have landed here in 1579 during his movement around the globe.