I discovered a new creature today – the sea squirt. And I’m already obsessing about it. It could easily become the mainstay of my conversation for months.
Sea squirts rock. For a start, they squirt. They have siphons for sucking in sea water and will happily squirt you if you pick them up.
They’re officially called ‘tunicates’. Why? Because they wear little tunics. How sweet is that? And if they decide to live in a group, they share their siphons and tunics. Adorable.
Darwin was fascinated by them because they start off life being vertebrates and then become invertebrates. As if that’s not paradoxtastic enough, the sea squirt is both male and female. And it shares 77 percent of its genes with us. It’s practically human.
After a rather unstable childhood, your typical sea squirt eventually decides to settle down and find a nice rock to live on. Once it’s found a rock it likes, it lives there forever and decides it no longer needs a brain. So it eats it. Yes. It eats its own brain. I’m sure there’s a metaphor in there somewhere.
And finally, sea squirts are incredibly pretty, as you can see. I’m about to phone Liberty and Harvey Nicks to see if they stock them.