One adventurous nature buff at the Betty Steflic Nature Preserve in Flagler Beach, Florida spied a bizarre creature undulating within a shallow saltwater cove at low tide. What YouTuber NightfallFXANS is now calling “Bubble Creatures” resemble a cross between a jellyfish and a large amoeba.
One explanation presented was that these are actually Bryozoans. Bryozoans are a rare phylum of aquatic invertebrate commonly referred to as “moss animals.” These filter feeders are found in a wide range of environments from the poles to brackish marine waters, siphoning their food through a crown of tentacles lined with cilia. The creatures were originally called “Polyzoa”, but was renamed “Bryozans” in 1831.
However, after further research, Doug Smith from the UMass Biology Department has determined that the “Bubble Creatures” are actually single-celled algae containing gas. Now, this may seem even more innocuous than a menacing unknown species lurking in the shallows of the Floridian nature preserve, but no. According to an article on Science Daily these little creatures can be quite the players of the microbial world! Perhaps these seemingly harmless “Bubble Creatures” are up to up to no good after all? I knew those amoebas looked shifty.
I think we’ll keep our eye on these little guys for the time being, just to be on the safe side…