AN unsuspecting paddle-boarder was enjoying the peace and quiet of the Pacific Ocean when he came across a mysterious marine creature.
Bill Clements posted a brief video of the transparent, gooey-looking, chain-shaped creature on his Instagram.
The nature-enthusiast was immediately enamored by the unusual object.
When the paddle-boarder grabbed the organism out of the water and inspected in with his hands, he didn’t expect what he was about to find out.
“What is that?” he questioned on camera as he reached for the mass. “Looks like some sort of salp.”
A salp, which is also known as a a “sea grape,” is typically found in warm seas in the Southern Hemisphere.
This particular sea salp was found near Dana Point, floating along the coast of California.
“Strange creature on the water today!!,” @paddlegoat wrote in the caption of a video he later posted to his Instagram.
“This long strand of bioluminescent jello appeared to be a single organism,” he explained in the caption. “But when I took a closer look it was a chain of organisms all connected to one another,” he wrote.
His followers quickly commented on the extraordinary discovery.
“That’s the wildest thing I’ve ever seen!” one social-media user noted.
Some admitted they would have been a bit more apprehensive to get a closer look at an unidentified animal.
“I’d be afraid to pick it up in case it stings,” one person suggested.
According to Karla Heidelberg, who teaches biological sciences and environment studies at the University of Southern California, the salp is rather harmless.
“They look at lot like a jellyfish,” the expert explained in a report for USA Today.
Heidelberg assured that the animal is completely safe for humans to touch.
“But these organisms have no stinging cells at all,” she added. “They’re totally harmless and they’re unbelievably beautiful.”
Heidelberg exclaimed that it was a very special opportunity to come across a salp as long as the one that Clements found.
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