Mysterious ‘baby alien’ objects discovered on Cleveleys beach explained

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“They look rather sad out of the water, as the body is not able to support its own weight, and the tentacles form a soggy mass around the head.”

Strange "balloon" creatures spotted on Carlin Rock, Cleveleys
Strange “balloon” creatures spotted on Carlin Rock, Cleveleys (Image: Gemma Duignan)

A picture has emerged on social media of what appear to be strange creatures clung to a rock on Cleveleys seafront.

The “balloon” like creatures were spotted dangling from Carlin Rock yesterday afternoon (Sunday May 10) which left many people baffled.

Explanations on Facebook ranged from jellyfish and baby aliens to mermaids purses and wayward dog poo bags.

Given the recent activity on Cleveley’s north promenade, others thought these may be baby aliens from Star Wars left behind by film crews.

LancsLive can now confirm however that the creatures, plumose anemones, appear so strange because they are far from their home in deep water.

Ones that remain in the depths of the sea can actually grow to two feet tall.

Chair of Lancashire Marine Conservation Society, Barry Kaye said: “The animals that look like soggy rubber balloons hanging from the rock are probably plumose anemones,Metridium sp, which usually live in deeper water in moderate to fast flowing water.

“Underwater they would look similar to this photo I took this on the cruiser Dresden at Scapa Flow, Orkney.

How the anemones appear underwater in Dresden at Scapa Flow, Orkney which can grow up to two feet tall
How the anemones appear underwater in Dresden at Scapa Flow, Orkney which can grow up to two feet tall (Image: Lancashire Marine Conservation Society)

“They look rather sad out of the water, as the body is not able to support its own weight, and the tentacles form a soggy mass around the head.

“I presume this was taken on quite a low tide, as they are not keen on being exposed, and this will keep their size down. The ones at Scapa Flow were up to two feet tall.”

“It is quite common to see them attached to jetties or other structures where there is a good tidal flow. We have previously recorded them under the lifeboat jetty at Roa Island on shore walks at extreme low water.”

According to Living Seas North West these anemones are often found under ledges or beneath boulders where there is little wave action and are identifiable from their wide base and feathery tentacles.

They sweep the passing seawater with their tentacles to catch small zooplankton as their food. When disturbed, the Plumose anemone will fold in their tentacles and close in on themselves.