Sea tulip: Disturbing item washes up on Victorian beach, confusing beachgoers

A washed up creature of the deep has been identified by local nature enthusiasts after it was described as looking like “something out Alien”.

The avid beachgoer took to the Facebook group ‘Field Naturalists Club of Victoria’ to identify a strange looking being she found at Step Beach in Fairhaven in the state’s southwest.

“Found in the rock pools. It was kinda hard, plant like … ” the user wrote.

The post quickly gained popularity with many suggesting it looked like the chocolate lady from SpongeBob SquarePants or even a placenta.

“From another planet!” one user commented.

“The ocean never fails to fascinate,” another wrote.

It didn’t take long for the keen naturalists to identify the object in the beachgoers search for answers.

The find is likely a sea tulip – an organism covered in lumps and bumps thanks to the encrusting sponge that covers its surface.

It is found in coastal waters to a depth of 80m.

They grow from the rocks on a long stalk. It is a filter feeder, so it pumps water in and out of its siphons and extracts its food – the plankton.

Commenters noted the creature is often found around the area with “lots at Anglesea reef at the moment”.

But they didn’t shy away from admitting how strange they were at first sight.

“When I first saw these they were en masse and looked like something out of Alien!” one said.

“Note to self: Sea tulips look uncannily like a brain with a spinal cord still attached,” another wrote.

“Well now I know what the old lady from the chocolate episode of spongebob was meant to be,” one user laughed.

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