'Stunning' discovery on beach turns out to have a 'nasty' secret

·2-min read

A strange looking sea creature discovered by a woman on a beach in Fremantle has been revealed to have “nasty” chemicals.

The woman spotted the odd orange and brown jelly-like creature on South Beach before sharing an image in a local Facebook group and asking members if they knew what it was.

“It looks like a sea cucumber,” one person suggested

a compound ascidian found on a beach
Members of the group were fascinated and took their best shot at solving the mystery. Source: Facebook

“More of a zucchini type,” another joked, while someone else playfully asked if it was a drumstick.

“It looked like a pear for a second, a brown one,” a third person guessed.

Others thought it was “beautiful” and described it as “gorgeous”.

Warning of potential danger to dogs

A few people warned the woman to keep dogs away from the creature.

“Be careful if dogs are around, it’s a sea hare and is toxic to dogs,” one member said.

“Most certainly a death trap for dogs, it’s a sea hare and lots of dogs eating them and presenting to vets at the moment,” another cautioned.

Sea pork's are related to sea-squirts like cunjevoi (pictured). Source: Andrew Donnelly/Australian Museum
Sea pork's are related to sea-squirts like cunjevoi (pictured) that grow on rock platforms. Source: Andrew Donnelly/Australian Museum

Expert warns of ‘nasty chemicals’

Dr Stephen Keable from the Australian Museum Research Institute told Yahoo News Australia he believes the creature is commonly known as a sea pork or sea liver because of its appearance and texture.

The scientific term is a compound ascidian and they are related to sea-squirts like cunjevoi that grow on rock platforms.

Although the similar cunjevoi is eaten by first nations people, Dr Keable advised against eating sea pork.

“I wouldn’t recommend it though as they could have nasty chemicals,” he told Yahoo News Australia.

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