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Saturday, February 20, 2016

Pretty little pearls

Last night we encountered a bit of a mystery on Salmon Creek Beach.  Here are some photos of what we saw, so you can try to come up with a guess yourself.  I'll warn you that this is a bit challenging we still didn't know for sure until a view through a microscope confirmed our hunch.

The strand line had a distinctly blue-gray hue:

When we got down on our hands and knees to take a closer look, this is what we saw:

And when I zoomed in close with my camera, we realized there were thousands of small blue-gray objects among the sand grains.  (Many were the same size or smaller than the grains of sand!)

From a distance, they reminded me of "pretty little pearls."  [Given these views from a very small section of the strand line, I can't even imagine how many of these were on the entire beach.]

Any guesses about the identity of these mystery objects?  I'll share the answer tomorrow night.


Purslane said...

The obvious guess is eggs, and in some cases the pearls appear to have skate-shaped figures within. But cartilaginous fish produce much larger, very distinctive eggs, and there would never be so many.

David Jones said...

Guessing they are someones eggs, perhaps a crustacean but that's just a wild guess as to who they belong to.

Jackie Sones said...

Good guesses! So you have time to wonder about other possibilities, I'll reveal that they're neither fish eggs nor crustacean eggs. And I'll provide an additional hint -- they're not eggs.

:) Jackie

Megan Hill said...

Millions of salps??

Jackie Sones said...

No, not salps either, but it is an invertebrate. Keep guessing!

;) Jackie