They might look like props from a low-budget horror film, but these mysterious slimy brain-like blobs are in fact colonies of hundreds of tiny creatures.
In the video above, the organism can be seen jiggling and pulsating as it's dragged from the water.
According to National Geographic, the creatures were initially spotted in Stanley Park. But in Vancouver's Lost Lagoon, where a blob-like creature was recently uncovered, the best descriptions thus far from Celina Starnes of the Stanley Park Ecology Society is that it's like a deflated basketball or week-old Jell-O. Zooids, tiny hermaphroditic organisms less than a millimeter in size, clump up in bundles to form the alarming larger blobs.
Pectinatella magnifica, a member of the Pectinatellidae family of Bryozoa being lifted from a pond, August 23, 2008.
Fossil records show that ancient bryozoans date back as far as 470 million years, long before the first dinosaurs walked the Earth around 230 million years ago. Since they are adapted to warm waters, this can be one of the main reasons, they have started to move in the North. In 2012, the US fish and wildlife service theorized that, since the animals can only spread in warmer waters warmer than 60 degrees, climate change might be forcing them north.
If this is true, it could be unsafe for local wildlife as the presence of Bryozoans might upset the water ecosystem.
But they may have been there in the past and escaped detection in the once-deeper waters thanks to their muddy coloring. Too many of them in one place likewise lead to clogged pipes and dirty beaches. Starnes says they're sometimes confused with a batch of salamander eggs or rocks.
'They're a colony of tiny organisms that like to hang out together, ' Ms Stormont said.
Ian Walker is a biology professor at the University of British Columbia who has studied bryozoans.
"It's something that could have been easily overlooked in the past", he said.
"I think we're near the northern limit of them". "I can only really speculate how they might have spread".