Recently, my neighbour decided that we were to take a 6km beach hike in Wilderness. It was a beautiful day; the sun shone a smiling god, salt accepted an invitation into our nostrils and we witnessed two fisherman make successful catches.
Jellyfish and blue bottles floundered on sections of sand but, as beautiful and interesting as some were, none competed with the writhing wonder of the photo you see above (check the photos below to realize the size).
Naturally, our fun ignorance made it our “monster” for the day but curiosity made me later send a query to the well-educated authority that Proffesor Brian Allanson is.
He said that it was “the ‘Goose barnacle’ (Lepas Testudinata). The larval stage swims in the ocean until a suitable substrate can be found on which the settle. They settle head down so that the limbs are uppermost and with which the feed. During metamorphosis the scutes or shell are secreted and a long stalk attaches the adult firmly to the substratum – in this case a large remnant of a stipe of kelp. The name goose barnacle comes from the medieval belief that these barnacles gave rise to the Barnacle Goose of Europe.”