28 Jun '12, 8pm

Crazy living rock is one of the weirdest creatures we’ve ever seen

Crazy living rock is one of the weirdest creatures we’ve ever seen

The fact that this sea creature looks exactly like a rock with guts is not even the weirdest thing about it. It’s also completely immobile like a rock — it eats by sucking in water and filtering out microorganisms — and its clear blood mysteriously secretes a rare mineral called vanadium. Also, it’s born male, becomes hermaphroditic at puberty, and reproduces by tossing clouds of sperm and eggs into the surrounding water and hoping they knock together. Nature, you are CRAZY. Self-sexing vanadium-secreting intestine-rock thing is actually called Pyura chilensis (terser, though less descriptive), and it’s found off the coast of Chile and Peru. Locals eat it raw or in stews, and non-locals describe the taste as “bitter ” and “soapy” with a “weird iodine flavor .” Sort of what you’d expect from a meat-rock, I guess? Maybe that’s the vanadium, a mineral also found in crude oil ...

Full article: http://grist.org/list/crazy-living-rock-is-one-of-the-wei...

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