Jennifer Steen Booher

Barnacles and baby seaweed

I have this problem where I start writing a post about an outing and have to do research to answer questions about stuff I find, and sometimes I can’t find anything so the research ends up being me posting “what the heck is this” to Instagram and Facebook and Twitter, and it takes a week for responses to come in and the response is basically, “we don’t know, either” and I have to go back out in the field and look harder, and a month goes by and I haven’t written the damn post. All of which is a long-way-round way of explaining why I still haven’t written a post about poking around The Bar on January 11.

One of the things I found that day was mysterious black lumps on the barnacles.

Social media came up blank, except for an offer from a friend to check out the lumps under her microscope. Karen and I went back to the Bar, found a small (portable) rock with lump-covered barnacles, filled a jar with sea water, and headed back to her lair. We couldn’t get the rock under the microscope, so had to detach a barnacle. Still couldn’t see much, so we scraped off a lump and floated it in a drop of seawater, where it sort of unfolded into a green oblong about 3mm across:

Definitely plant life! Probably the infant form of some kind of marine algae.

I took the barnacle-covered rock back to the shore, and since we’d already sacrificed a barnacle, I brought a couple home with me. Since I was out of research time for the day, I stuck them in the fridge. As one does.

The next day I pulled out my macro lens and got some better photos of the lumps and also the little bugger inside the shell.

And that’s why I still haven’t written the original post.

P.S. I meant to take more photos of the animal inside but ran out of time, and after a week my mom kicked it out of the fridge, so there’s a jar of dead barnacles frozen to my front porch.


5 thoughts on “Barnacles and baby seaweed

  1. Pingback: The Bar, January 15, 2019 – Jennifer Steen Booher

  2. Heather Richard

    I found the same thing in Blue Hill, and this is the only thing I can find on the internet about it! I took some photos using a 40x objective and got something that looked like cyanobacteria? Sending the photos around to see if anyone can help ID. I’m obsessed with finding an answer now…

  3. Heather Richard

    The black blobs are apparently a form of cyanobacteria it seems. I’m searching for someone who is an expert at identifying Rivularia atra, which seems to be as close as I can get to what these blobs look like. I’ll keep you posted!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *