Is that a Giant Floating Pink Stocking?
Just imagine swimming around in a reef famous for turtle encounters and all of a sudden finding yourself in front of a Stocking-like floating structure. You’re not even sure it’s an organism or something else… and like always when you need it, you have no camera to take a picture of it.
I still remember when I first joined Soneva Fushi a million of years ago…that all of a sudden I found myself in front of a similar looking thing (how else can I call it?!) and it took me a couple of days to actually figure out what it was. The shortlisted candidates were two: Pyrosome and Diamond Squid Eggs. After making few of these encounters, we opted for Pyrosome.
Pyrosomes are colonial organisms belonging to the Phylum of Chordata, the group that encompasses animals with a backbone. Wait, what??? A jelly like organism belonging to the same group as Mammals and Fish? Yes, because during a stage of their life, when they are larvae, they possess a typical Chordate features which they lose as they develop.
These organisms are gigantic pumps which aggregate and float around filtering water.
We got pretty familiar with them as we encountered several through the years, with useless attempts to take decent pictures of them.
Yet, I remained very curious, how could I tell apart Pyrosome from Diamond Squid Eggs? Finally yesterday during our excursions we found another floating pink stocking and as soon as we saw it, Dayanne and I had no doubt, here it is the Diamond Squid Eggs. With close inspection, and no camera again :(, you could totally see the different tiny pink eggs embedded in a jelly matrix. Finally we can be certain of what the differences between the 2 “Stockings” are…
Above picture from: Divers capture footage of massive squid egg-mass