National parks officials in North Carolina have shared a photograph of a mysterious blob that they have failed to identify, seeking the public's help in determining what it could be. The unidentified mass washed up on the shore and officials suspect that it could be egg sacks of a squid.The object has several finger-shaped appendages, and appears to be filled with small white-coloured balls. The Cape Lookout National Seashore on Facebook posted a picture of the "mysterious mass", which was discovered a few months ago but was made public only recently.
"Beach mystery -- Do you know what this mysterious mass is? It was found a few months ago on the beach. So far it has escaped being identified - although it might be something like the egg sacks of a squid (but we aren't sure)," it read. "Anyone want to take a stab at identifying it for us?"
Soon after the photo was shared on the social media platform, people started taking guesses.
"Squid egg mass. Put it back into the ocean, offshore, so the eggs can grow and hatch. Usually, they are expelled by the female squid and sink to the ocean floor till they hatch," said a user who goes by the name Mya Glubpanny.
Another Facebook user, Michael Vecchione, shared an article in the comments section to back his assertion that it was the egg mass of an inshore squid, the family Loliginidae. "Same family as the Calif market squid. Three species are common in NC. These look like Lolliguncula brevis but could be either Doryteuthis pealeii or D," he wrote.
A vast majority of people who commented on the post said they were squid eggs and asked the officials to put them back into the ocean.
Sharing an article, another user, Jennifer Beliveau, said it was "definitely squid eggs."
Meanwhile, Oregon Coast Aquarium spoke to Dr Louis Zeidberg, a squid expert at California State University in Monterey Bay. Dr Zeidberg said that the species is called the California market squid, which lives near the shore and is called myopsis squid due to the presence of a cornea in the eye. "There's also an Atlantic species, which is slightly bigger and was separated from this species when Panama closed up," he added.
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