Environment

Millions of mysterious ‘sea pickles’ swamp US west coast

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Huge and unexplained bloom has fishers racing to save their nets, and scientists hurrying to study the rare animal

A rare, tiny marine creature known as the “unicorn of the sea” has swarmed in its millions on the west coast of America, ruining fishermen’s nets and baffling scientists who are scrambling to find out more about them.

Fishers along the west coast have told researchers that in some places they are unable to catch anything because the pyrosome clusters are so dense and tightly packed. Their hooks, when pulled from the ocean, wriggle with the odd-looking creatures, which are sometimes referred to as “sea pickles” or “fire bodies”.

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