Apparently the “brains” were bryozoans

My lovely Aunt Joan took an interest in the Alien Brains Monster Egg Sac and asked a friend of hers about them.  Her friend directed us (her, then me) to this article written by a 10 year old.

If you are swimming and bump into what looks like a brain from Saturn don’t get freaked out because it is just a harmless bryozoan colony. However, if you pierce it, it might give off poison.

Many people think bryozoans are extinct but they still live in lakes and oceans. The bryozoans that live in salt water are a lot different from fresh water bryozoans. Fresh water bryozoans live in colonies which can get as big as a basketball. A new colony will start from larva or from statoblasts which are like seeds. Bryozoans are water animals so that means they eat and digest tiny animals like plankton by filtering them out of the water. Each bryozoan is about 1 mm long (see picture below).

Freshwater bryozoan colonies are usually found around branches that have fallen into still water. If you cut one of these colonies in two you would find gelatin type stuff inside.

When you see bryozoan fossils they look like moss. That is why in Greek bryozoan means moss animal. Bryozoans have been around for about 500,000,000 years!

Grade 5 report, by Ewan Craig, 2003

So…cool!  Not alien brains.  But I’m not sure how less scary that makes them.  Poison gelatin type stuff inside?  They eat and digest tiny animals (like Shih Tzus?)  I’m glad I didn’t actually smash it with an oar.  Bossy would have been in trouble.

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