NAGS HEAD, N.C. — Author's note: The video above is on file from a different story that first aired on Aug. 12, 2022.
A Chesapeake boy combing the beach in Nags Head, North Carolina, stumbled across an unusual find this week.
Daryl Law, a spokesman for Jennette’s Pier, said it was a sea cucumber!
Easton Whitlatch, 6, apparently found it near the pier. Once he took it to the pier's staff, who helped identify it, he released it.
"These are fairly rare to find and he was excited," Law wrote.
They're in the same biological group as sea stars and sea urchins, but most of these animals, also called "holothurians," are soft on the outside. They come in many different shapes and sizes, though.
Here are some fun facts about sea cucumbers, from the National Wildlife Federation:
- They actually have feet to move around.
- They can grow up to six feet long.
- You can find them anywhere from the shallows to deep seafloors.
- Their internal organs are toxic, and sometimes sea cucumbers eject them at predators to escape. (They can grow back, too.)
- They're regarded as a seafood delicacy in some places.