What is this mysterious sea creature washed up on a UK beach?

What is this mysterious sea creature washed up on a UK beach?

A very strange-looking sea creature with hairy spikes on its back has washed up on Crosby beach in Liverpool - leaving locals somewhat perplexed.

The marine creatures was spotted by a beachgoer who shared the image with Sefton Council, which was also none the wiser about what it is.

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In fact, Sefton Council took to Twitter to ask followers their thoughts on what the creature could be.

They wrote: "This interesting creature was spotted on #Crosby beach today! But can any marine biologists tell us what it is? #MySefton #BluePlanet2."

The creature appeared to have yellow, green and pink flecks amid the black spiky hairs on its back.

According to the Liverpool Echo, one person replied to say they thought it was an Aphrodita aculeata, or sea mouse.

According to Wikipedia, a sea mouse is a marine polychaete worm found in the North Atlantic, the North Sea, the Baltic Sea and the Mediterranean.

Adults generally fall within a size range of 10 to 20 centimetres, and they primarily on small crabs, hermit crabs and other polychaete worms. It has been observed consuming other polychaete worms over three times its own body length. Ewww.

It normally lies buried head-first in the sand and has been found at depths of over 3,000 metres (9,800 ft).

There were, of course, plenty of joke replies to the council's tweet, too.

One person wrote: "It's Hagi Scotia, the Scottish Haggis, looks like an unfortunate escapee. Sad..."

Another laughed: "Looks like Trump's spare toupee."

And one man actually proclaimed the sea mouse as his 'favourite' writing: "It's my favourite polychaete! (It's not weird to have a favourite polychaete, is it?!)."


World's deadliest insects
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World's deadliest insects
Native to east and southeast Asia, the Asian giant hornet is the world's largest hornet with its two-inch-long body and three-inch wingspan. Especially well known in Japan, the hornet packs a lot of venom and can attack and kill people. Hundreds of people were stung by the flying insects in the Chinese province of Shaanxi in October 2013. The hornets killed 28 people with their highly toxic sting that can lead to anaphylactic shock and renal failure.
Tsetse flies may resemble house flies but these insects, found mostly in Africa, are blood suckers that carry dangerous parasites, causing sleeping sickness or trypanosomiasis. The disease develops slowly but can be fatal if treatment is delayed. Tourists on safari holidays in destinations, such as Tanzania and South Africa, as well as in the Sahara have been bitten by tsetse flies.
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Known for carrying Chagas disease, Assassin bugs most often infect people in poor, rural areas of the Americas. They are known as 'kissing bugs' as they usually bite their victims around the mouth and nose while they are sleeping - some bites are painless and others are the most painful of any insect. The danger comes after the bite, with Chagas disease causing rashes, fevers and vomiting, and in some cases death.

You probably didn't think you'd find the common dust mite in our roundup of dangerous insects but when it comes to Britain's deadliest bugs, these tiny invertebrates that can only be seen under a microscope are the biggest killers. 90 per cent of asthma sufferers in the UK identify dust times as a trigger for their attacks and charity Asthma UK says there were 1,143 deaths from asthma in the Britain in 2010. While not all of these deaths were caused by dust mites, droppings left by the insects can trigger asthma attacks.

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