Thousands of ‘penis fish’ wash onto Bay Area beach


POINT REYES (KRON) – What would be your first thought if you saw one of these washed up on the beach?

Thousands of “penis fish” have washed ashore Drakes Beach in Point Reyes, Bay Nature reports.

A fat innkeeper worm in Bodega Bay in June 2019. / Kate Montana

Officially called fat innkeeper worms (Urechis caupo), the phallic shaped-creatures usually live underwater and burrow in mud or sand but were most likely carried ashore thanks to recent storms in the Bay Area, an expert told Bay Nature.

The “penis fish” can live up to 25 years and typically eats bacteria, plankton, and other small particles, which it collects using “sticky mucus nets.”

Ivan Parr, a biologist from the Western Section of the Wildlife Society, says he spotted the worms on Dec. 6 on the North Bay beach.

He had previously heard of sightings in the Golden State in other areas including Princeton Harbor and Bodega Bay.

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