It turns out this creature is not as simple as it seems.
Strange creatures floating
According to information shared on Family Breeze, Laura (68 years old, American) and her husband work in the garden. Suddenly, the woman saw a strange object floating in the creek next to the garden. That thing attracted her curiosity so Laura tried to fish it out of the water. However, as soon as the husband saw that thing in Laura’s hand, he quickly shouted: “Put it down immediately!”. Before she could react, her husband ran over and knocked the strange creature out of her hand, causing it to fall to the ground.
Laura and her husband work in wildlife research and have a background in microbiology. Therefore, Laura is not someone who is easily frightened by strange creatures.
Laura shared with Family Breeze that the creature had a beautiful golden color. After taking it out of the water, she held it in her hand and felt that its body was very soft. Although she had come into contact with many types of creatures, this was the first time she encountered something like this, Laura said, her husband acted like that because he knew about it well. He also asked Laura to wash her hands immediately.
When she returned, her husband decided to bring this strange creature into the house for a closer examination. Her husband put on gloves put them in a bucket and poured in some water. According to Laura’s husband, he added water because this creature is a freshwater Bryozoan (a type of freshwater sponge), its scientific name is Pectinatella magnifica.
The truth about strange creatures
This organism usually lives in the form of colonies (groups of individuals). Each organism is called a Zooid. They are less than a millimeter in size, have no backbone, and are barely visible to the naked eye.
The colonies combine to form a mass like a flower, with a maximum diameter of up to 2m. They can cling to aquatic plant stems and can move on aquatic stems at a very slow speed (1-1, 5mm/day). Each colony is a gelatinous mass containing up to 99% water, viscous in form, bonded together very firmly.
They can reproduce asexually. If separated from the group under favorable conditions, they multiply quickly and stick together to preserve their numbers. The ‘slimy’ mass has the appearance of a human brain eating algae in nutrient-rich water. They can disrupt the ecological balance in freshwater ecosystems if their numbers increase.
According to the Stanley Ecological Society, they have found chemical evidence proving that this creature existed 470 million years ago. They also said that these strange creatures usually live in marine environments, but then they found hundreds of these creatures in a freshwater area in Stanley Park, Vancouver.
This freshwater Bryozoan species can cause allergies in people who come into contact with it, causing itching and red spots on the limbs. Furthermore, this species also causes damage to water bodies and crops in the area.
Afterward, Laura and her husband returned to the creek next to their house to check and discovered a large number of freshwater Bryozoan creatures. The two are concerned that if they continue to multiply, it could cause disaster for the local ecosystem. The husband quickly called on the neighbors to dig a new creek parallel to the old ditch and build a dam as a lock to separate this mollusk. They also quickly contacted local authorities to report the situation.
After that, the authorities mobilized 4 large tank trucks to transport all these freshwater Bryozoans out of that area. Laura and her husband were rewarded by the government for their quick action to stop this invasive species.