Invasion of the Borg: Global Warming Driving Bizarre Marine Species Migration

“This is a weird organism man. I don’t have a clue.”
Don Jeske, Alaskan salmon fisherman

Pyrosomes can exist in formations up to forty feet long, but they don’t belong in Alaskan waters.

Millions of weird 6 in long organisms resembling extended thimbles are invading the waters off of southeastern Alaska. Among other problems, these things belong thousands of miles to the south, in warmer waters.

Sometimes referred to as the “Borg of the sea” or sea pickles, the correct name of these organisms is pyrosomes. They are tropical spineless, filter feeding marine animals of the zooid family. Although they appear in cylindrical form up to forty feet long, they are actually colonies of very small individual animals (similar in a way to coral, except that they move). The tubes appear to be gelatinous and move along by taking in water for nutrients at one end and blowing out the waste at the other.

Although the current incursion consists of smaller pyrosome tubes, they can grow up to 40 feet.

Pyrosome range has normally been in the warm waters of the Equator up until now.  Not only have they invaded the waters off southeast Alaska, but they are also washing ashore in huge masses on the coasts of Oregon and Washington.

These little monsters are yet another species moving inexorably toward the poles as ocean waters warm. The effects will be interesting for all to see!

This entry was posted in Alaska, global warming, invasion of the borg, pyrosomes, zooids. Bookmark the permalink.