Walking along the shoreline in December I noticed, as I have a number of times in past years, numerous oblong clumps of seaweed. For some reason, I had never made an effort to investigate. This winter I did. I picked up one of these objects and carried it home. It was as light as a feather.
Expecting an egg case or some living creature within, I carefully snipped it in half with scissors. To my surprise I found that it was not hollow, and consisted of nothing but hundreds of short pieces of dried seaweed thoroughly intertwined. So I suppose these objects are simply that -- tumbled aggregates of seaweed, and nothing more. If I am mistaken, please let me know.
On another walk I stumbled across something I had never seen before, what appeared to be some sort of a sea cucumber. I scooped it up and carried it home, only to discover that it was still alive. It stretched and contracted as if by peristaltic motion. After taking the following photos I returned it to the sea.
Any insight as to this creature's identity would be appreciated.
Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is the story of the day Charles Lindbergh landed on Ocracoke. You can read it here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news112112.htm.