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Experts divided over 'tongue-like' discovery washed up on Aussie beach

The slimy item washed up on a NSW beach – prompting a flurry of responses from intrigued observers.

A strange "tongue-like" creature has washed ashore at a secluded ocean beach and experts are torn over what the fleshy pink and red organism actually is.

Uploading an image to social media on a marine identification community page, a woman described the find at Hungry Head, south of Coffs Harbour in NSW, saying she'd "seen lots washed up" along the shoreline.

People stumped over fleshy's organism's origins

Asking for help to identify the slimy blob, people on social media were quick to respond with their suggestions, many confused over its origins.

"It's looks like a pork hock to me," a woman joked. "It's bacon," another said in jest. "Is it a human heart?" another person hypothesised.

People are confused over the origins of this slimy tongue-like creature. Source: Facebook.
People are confused over the origins of this slimy tongue-like creature. Source: Facebook.

Experts weighs in

While members of public put forward a number of ideas, nobody seemed to be able to decide. When Yahoo News asked the experts, even they couldn't quite make a definitive call based on the image.

A spokesperson for Sea Life Sydney Aquarium said they'd need a closer look to make an positive identification.

The team at Australian Institute of Marine Science said the creature is a most likely a sea squirt.

A sea slug.
Sea slugs can reach up to 20cm in length. Source: Wikimedia Commons.

"Our scientists are not entirely sure from the picture but they think it’s a sea squirt (Ascidian). These are common for the area and can break off from rocks and shells in storms," a spokesperson told Yahoo.

According to the team at Queensland Museum, it could be a sea slug. "Our scientists suggest it’s probably a sea slug, but difficult to go further than that without closer examination," a spokesperson said.

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