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Australia

Bizarre creature called a Goose Barnacle found washed up on south coast beach in NSW

The bizarre appearance of sea creatures – resembling a ‘mollusc with a big foot’ – has created comment online after washing up on a beach in New South Wales.  

A couple discovered hundreds of translucent tentacle-like growths covering an abandoned metal pipe washed up on the shore of a south coast beach on Wednesday. 

‘They’re definitely individual guys but we didn’t think they were attached to a plant and there weren’t any without a shell on the end,’ a curious observer wrote online alongside a picture of the unusual find.  

A couple discovered hundreds of clear tentacles known as Goose Barnacles covering an abandoned metal pipe along the shore of a south coast beach on Wednesday (pictured)

A couple discovered hundreds of clear tentacles known as Goose Barnacles covering an abandoned metal pipe along the shore of a south coast beach on Wednesday (pictured)

A couple discovered hundreds of clear tentacles known as Goose Barnacles covering an abandoned metal pipe along the shore of a south coast beach on Wednesday (pictured) 

‘They felt soft and fibrous, like some sort of tissue and were moving independently of the breeze.’ 

Some readers identified the creatures as Gooseneck barnacles – frequently found on Australian beaches after a strong surf. 

Also known as percebes, the crustaceans are usually found in large groups that cling to rocks, wharves, piers or floating objects in search of food.    

The barnacles are also known delicacies in countries like Spain and Portugal and can reportedly go for around $500 per kilo.  

Gooseneck barnacles are frequently found on Australian beaches after a strong surf (pictured: stock image)

Gooseneck barnacles are frequently found on Australian beaches after a strong surf (pictured: stock image)

Gooseneck barnacles are frequently found on Australian beaches after a strong surf (pictured: stock image) 

GOOSE BARNACLE FACTS 

Description: 

The barnacles have a tough shell covering on the outside. 

On the inside, the barnacles are very much crustaceans, having jointed legs, which they use to catch small particles of food. 

Habitat:

Goose barnacles live on intertidal beaches and in coastal waters and oceans.

Location: 

Goose Barnacles are found in Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia and are also common overseas.  

Credit: Australian Museum 

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