It’s a Salp

I observed this unusual organism during a December 2012 King Tide when I saw several and took this photo. However, determining what they were, exactly, was challenging. So, I contacted Cynthia D. Trowbridge at the Oregon Institute of Marine Biology, and she kindly identified my mystery creature as the salp, Thetys vagina.

In the weeks since Cynthia told me what I had discovered, I have seen several TV news, radio, and newspaper accounts concerning salps washing up on beaches this winter. However, I have learned that Thetys vagina doesn’t wash up often, and I wasn’t the only one who struggled to identify them correctly.

I updated this post on February 14, 2023


  1. Cool! I’m glad you were able to find out what that is! I was wondering what it’s like when it’s not dead on a beach, and I found this video, it’s a pretty neat looking creature!

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