Wondering about those largish “pink pickles” that are washing ashore on local beaches? They’re pyrosomes (pyrosome atlanticum), according to the Seaside Aquarium, who posted the photo shown on their Facebook page. These particular critters are “a little longer than a hand,” but can reach 24 inches.
“This colony of animals is comprised of thousands of individual zooids and moves through the water column by the means of cilia,” the post says. “They filter plankton out of the water for food and are known for bight displays of bioluminescence. … It’s one of the few pyrosomes that make it to the West Coast of the U.S., much less Oregon’s waters.”