An overwhelming number of "penis fish" have washed up on a California beach, according to the BBC.
They aren't actually called "penis fish," instead, they're known as fat innkeeper worms (Urechis caupo). Their sudden appearance on Drakes Beach, some 50 miles north of San Francisco, has many scratching their heads. But Ivan Parr, a biologist from the Western Section of the Wildlife Society, believes a storm caused the weird occurrence.
A witness tried to describe what the creatures looked like. “I had no idea what they might be ... it went on for two miles,” David Ford told Vice Motherboard. “I walked for another half hour and they were scattered everywhere. There were seagulls lined up the beach the whole way having eaten so much they could barely stand. A quarter of them looked like they were still alive. The rest were dead, they had a dead sea-creature smell.”
“We’re seeing the risk of building your home out of sand,” Parr told the New York Post. “Strong storms — especially during El Niño years — are perfectly capable of laying siege to the intertidal zone, breaking apart the sediments, and leaving their contents stranded on shore.”
The unique creature usually lives deep underwater, underneath the sand. But a strong enough storm likely carried the "penis fish" ashore. The BBC reports that the animal can live up to 25 years, and can even be eaten.
Of course, people had jokes for days about the unusually-shaped creature.