“We found this in West Harbor on Washington Island, WI”, states this reader. He asks that we identify the organisms for him as he has never seen something like them before.
From what we can see in the picture, the organisms appear to be a yellowish-white color, and are floating in transparent spheres of some kind of gelatinous substance. The substance resembles a bubble, though we assume that these are actually eggs. This photo is incredible, and we too have never seen anything like these. And it is an especially odd sight for us. Typically, when worms or larvae are still developing in their eggs, the eggs are very small and one cannot see the creature inside so clearly. It might be a trick of the perspective or zoom, but it looks as though these worm-like creatures are already quite large.
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Additionally, there appears to be another oblong object underneath these eggs, though we think this is a screw that has gone through the piece of wood the eggs are on, and not another organism. If that is wrong, then our reader is welcome to correct us on this in the comments section below .
At one point, we thought these might actually be caecilian eggs, as they tend to be far larger, and, at times, transparent. Caecilians are legless amphibians, oftentimes mistaken for snakes, which tend to live underground and are peaceful creatures. We have previously written “an article about caecilians“, which our reader is free to check out if he is curious. With all of that said, these do not quite resemble caecilian eggs either, so we doubt this is the right conclusion.
Additionally, there is an article in the Smithsonian about “sea creatures that trap their prey in bubbles of mucus“. According to this article, they use a mesh-like, mucous substance to trap organisms underwater and then they pick the organisms from their web that they wish to consume. We might have suggested that these were marine worms trapped in mucous bubbles by these creatures, if it were not for the fact that Washington Island is surrounded by a lake, whilst these creatures live in the ocean.
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To conclude, we are not at all sure what it is our reader found, and we do apologize for not being able to provide any answers. We nonetheless thank him for sending in this fantastic picture, and we invite any of our other readers, who might have ideas about what these creatures are, to share any such ideas in the comments section below. We wish our reader the best!