While walking on a marshy beach, I found this creature. It has no eyes, no feet, no fin, no gills. The only thing I know is that the skin lightly contracts. I found at least three of these. It is basically carried around by water.

Photo of the strange creature

Found this on a Maryland beach, roughly 150 miles east of Washington D.C.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Where was this found? $\endgroup$
    – canadianer
    Apr 4, 2017 at 3:32
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ edited description to add this information. $\endgroup$
    – Jagte
    Apr 4, 2017 at 3:39
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ nice and clear photos $\endgroup$ Apr 4, 2017 at 4:08

2 Answers 2


It's positively a sea anemone. It retracts the tentacles when disturbed and become quite rigid. It's hard to identify it in this condition, leave it for a whlie in a jar with sea water and you'll see.


Based on your description, it could be a sponge (but I don't think sponges have a contractile skin), a tunicate or a sea cucumber.

I would favour the last option.

  • The following questions might help further identification: How many holes can you spot?
  • If there are 2, where are they placed with respect to one another?

I hope someone can propose something more precise.


As noted in the comments, it could also be a sea anemone. In my experience, these have a quite soft body. In that case, it should have only one opening, and the opening should let tentacles out when the animal is left quiet in the proper environment.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Paranthus rapiformis has a similar form. $\endgroup$
    – Tyto alba
    Apr 6, 2017 at 9:55

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