Mystery orange creature pulled from the water leaving locals baffled

A fisherman in Australia was left completely bewildered when he pulled an unknown creature out of the water.

No stranger to the marine life of Western Port in southern Victoria, this fisherman posted a picture of this creature to Facebook to ask for help because he had never seen it before.

The creature was a white feather-like specimen with an orange hook-like curve at its base which is shaped in a way that can only be described as phallic.

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Commentators on the internet had a lot of fun trying to figure out what it was, with suggestions ranging from making fun of its shape, to suggesting it may be a form of sea cucumber. The innuendos around the creature’s hook-like base eventually grew too much for the original poster, and they turned off comments.

Locals were left baffled (stock)
Locals were left baffled

The query was picked up by Dr Merrick Ekins of the Queensland Museum who told Yahoo it is a sea pen likely from the virgularia species.

“[They are] endemic and not harmful,” the Collection Manager of Sessile Marine Invertebrates said.

According to the Melbourne Museum’s website, sea pens are actually a colony of animals made up of polyps.

It's funny-looking beastie
It’s a funny-looking beastie

Sea pens are marine invertebrates in the same class as anemones and corals and are actually a colony of animals made up of polyps. They can live in places swept by currents, within protected bays and gulfs, and in deeper waters off open coasts. The stalk of a sea pen remains buried in sediment while the feather-like top sticks out and collects food and pumps water.

Sea pens, which feast on drifting plankton and can grow up to 46 cm long, are not harmful to pick up but can feel spiky. This one likely got caught up in the fishing rod and pulled from the sediment that it was resting on.

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