Sunday, 09 July 2017 00:00

Attack of the Giant Slugs

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA) reports that coastal waters off the shore of Oregon have been filled recently with millions of translucent, slug-like creatures that measure from an inch to more than 2 feet in length.

Called pyrosomes and shaped like giant pickles, the organisms first showed up along Oregon's coast in 2015. In recent months, however, their numbers have soared into the millions, according to NOAA.

What's perhaps even more odd is that the creatures typically reside in tropical waters -- not the usually chilly waters of the Pacific Northwest.

Recently, researchers conducted a five-minute midwater tow off the Columbia River and managed to snare about 60,000 pyrosomes -- without wanting to. The researchers were hoping to find a different, rare fish and were forced to wade through the pyrosomes until they reached their goal.

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