Thousands of ten-inch “penis fish” wash up on a beach: fishermen flock to shore to catch them all
- The fish known as Urechis unicinctus was washed up in Argentina after a storm
- Since then, fishermen have reportedly flocked to the beach to collect them as bait
Thousands of ten-inch “penis fish” have washed up on a beach in Argentina in a bizarre phenomenon.
Formerly called Urechis unicinctus, the fierce-looking sea worms lined the beaches of Multillar north of the Rio Grande.
After a heavy storm on Monday afternoon, the animals flocked to the beach. This is not an uncommon phenomenon in Argentina, since torrential weather conditions had previously settled the coasts in the south of the country in masses of sea worms.
Despite their rather rude appearance, sea worms are highly sought after in Asia for their medicinal properties.
Since then, local fishermen have reportedly flocked to the beach to collect the “penis fish” as they are considered excellent bait, particularly when fishing for sea bass.
Thousands of ten-inch “penis fish” have washed up on a beach in Argentina — a bizarre phenomenon that has locals furious
Despite their rather rude appearance, sea worms are highly sought after in Asia for their medicinal properties
Earlier this week, locals photographed the roughly ten-inch phallic creatures along the shoreline.
Back in 2019, thousands of the seaworms washed up on a beach in California, and smaller concentrations of the seaworms have been spotted along the coast of Argentina in the past.
The worms like to burrow in the sand, but storms and sea waves can easily throw them off course and bring them to shore.
Also known as the “fat hostworm,” the creatures build a U-shaped burrow in the sea floor for other animals to move into – hence the nickname.
Fossil evidence has shown that living things have been around for 300 million years. A single Urechis unicinctus can live up to 25 years.
While some humans fish for the creatures, larger fish, sharks, gulls, and otters also fight to capture the worms.
The species gained particular fame in Asia, where it is eaten raw for its medicinal properties due to its high concentration of amino acids.
They are typically sold live at wet markets where customers can selectively select the specimen they want. Their taste is described as mild and they have a texture similar to that of mussels.
The hideous-looking sea worm, formerly called Urechis unicinctus, lined the beaches of Multillar, about 15 kilometers north of the city of Rio Grande
Pictured is a “penis fish” being captured in 2019 after washing up on a beach in California
While it is common in most Asian countries to eat seaworms raw, some regions of China prefer to dehydrate seaworms so they can be stored longer. The “penis fish” are then rehydrated as needed before being fried.
They are generally fished in the shallow waters of the China Sea, but are also found in sand tunnels underwater around the world.
Japan also considers the fish a delicacy and pairs it with soy sauce and vinegar for sashimi.