Today’s pic is an unusual subject – a Sea Apple, inspired by a crazy post that was circulating on Facebook this morning. To see some truly freaky stuff, follow this link. If you are already fearful of what lurks beneath, it might be prudent to give it a miss… ;^)
This Sea Apple image was captured at Cannibal Rock in the southern Komodo region of Indonesia. This is the only place where I have seen these strange creatures.
A member of the sea cucumber family, the Sea Apple (Pseudocolochirus tricolor) is not your typical, layin’ in the weeds kind of cuke. Instead, it attaches itself, upright, to the reef with some gnarly little feet, and then extends its “arms” to trap flyby plankton.
In addition to the wild coloration, it is the feeding action that is mesmerizing, and a bit creepy. Like a flower reaching for the sun, it keeps all its arms outstretched. Then, almost rhythmically, it inserts one arm at a time into its “mouth”, and scrapes off the plankton to ingest it. As it re-extends the scraped off arm, it inserts another.
A still image doesn’t really capture the uniqueness (nor the innate sexiness ;^) of this creature, but hopefully it gives you an idea of what it looks like. These things grow to be about 8 inches in height, more with the arms extended. Apparently, they are known to be night feeders, where their waving arms are less likely to attract predators, but I’ve seen them doing their thang in daytime in Komodo, in a plankton bloom…
A couple more images to illustrate the subject: