A photographer stumbled upon rare “alien-like” goose barnacles on a beach that could potentially be worth up to thousands of dollars.
Photographer John Jennings was cycling along the beach in Boscombe, Bournemouth in the U.K. on Sunday morning when he came across the strange-looking object.
Jennings had initially been chasing the storm on the seafront in the hope of getting some weather shots.
However, as soon the photographer saw the bizarre and surreal object washed up on the beach, he knew he had to get some pictures of it.
“When I first saw them I had no idea what I was looking at to be totally honest and was just excited to get some shots of them because they looked so cool,” Jennings tells PetaPixel.
“I think at first they definitely looked like they were on some sort of beached animal.”
He adds: “They did look pretty alien-like but in the sense of I had never seen anything like it before.”
Jennings soon discovered that the alien-looking object was a 4-foot-long log covered in extremely rare goose barnacles.
“We figured it out after my friend Laura’s mother told us,” the photographer explains.
“Laura had sent a picture to her of them and she came back straight away with what they were and how special the goose barnacles are and unique they are.
“This led me to go back out to the beach to see them again — not that I needed an excuse!”
Jennings posted his photos on social media and the images of the Goose barnacles made headlines in the U.K.
Experts from Bournemouth University also identified the object in Jenning’s photos as Goose barnacles “hitching a ride on a large log.”
What are Goose Barnacles?
According to a piece in The Daily Telegraph, the Goose barnacles that Jennings discovered washed up on the coast could be worth thousands of dollars.
The crustaceans are one of the world’s rarest and most valuable seafood due to the unique conditions they need to grow in and the difficulty of collecting them.
Goose barnacles have a long fleshy stem, which looks like a neck, topped by a chalky white shell that houses the main body of the barnacle.
They are related to crabs and lobsters, living on plankton and detritus in the sea.
It is believed the goose barnacles washed up on the coast as a result of the recent stormy weather in the U.K.
Goose barnacles, also known as Percebes, are an expensive delicacy in Spain and Portugal. Known for their sweet flavor, they can cost up to $97 per pound.
More of Jenning’s work can be seen on Instagram.
Image credits: All photos by John Jennings/ Horizon J Photography.