Today I was in Blackpool on an errand to get the car fixed and feeling a bit out of sorts when walking along the sea wall steps I saw something out of this world. It put me in mind of ‘The Host’ from a romantic science fiction book my daughter persuaded me to read. The ‘thing’ looked like it was upside down with segmented body and stiff black bristles along each side coming from the legs of each segment. I touched the thing with my foot and the segments contracted of their own accord. This creature still alive looked a very long way from home and there was no way back. The tide was fully out but there was a bit of water left in a pool at the bottom of the steps so I picked him up using my cardigan and put him in the right way up. Now I could see that the creature had incredibly colourful hair like strands running along each side. Back at the garage (car still not fixed) I showed the garage owner the photos I’d taken of the ‘thing’. He had grown up in Blackpool and as a boy earned extra pennies spending hours digging up bait from the sands and selling it to the fishermen. He had seen nothing like it.
Back home we looked up what it could be and turns out it is a Sea Mouse! Earlier this year The Daily Mail ran a story on a Sea Mouse being found in Kent “The brightly coloured deep-sea mouse (that is actually a hairy worm) washed up on a Kent beach
Animal usually found buried in the sea at depths of 6,600ft. Feasts on dead animals, and is covered in colourful hair”
According to Wikipedia the Sea Mouse normally lies buried head first in the sea bed, Wiki goes on to say “Its body is covered in a “dense mat” of setae (hairlike structures)from which the name “sea mouse” derives. Its scientific name is taken from Aphrodite, Greek goddess of love. This is because, when viewed ventrally, the sea mouse resembles a human female’s genitalia. Sea mice generally fall within a range of 7.5 to 15 centimetres (3.0 to 5.9 in), but some grow to 30 centimetres (12 in). They are scavengers, eating the remains of dead and decaying animals. The worm may also be so named because of its resemblance to a “bedraggled mouse” when it washes up on shore.”
The Sea Mouse is Just another bizarre and wonderful reason to stop Sellafield chucking out radioactive crap onto the sea bed.