Tuesday, September 24, 2013

What is this strange worm-like creature at Pasir Ris Park?

What is this strange worm-like creature at Pasir Ris Park?
STOMPer Ziqi spotted a strange worm-like creature at Pasir Ris Park's beach, and wondered why such creatures loved to frequent that area.

She and her friends had gone to the beach to hold a birthday celebration, but ended up finding the weird creature instead.

Ziqi said:

"My friends and I went to Pasir Ris Park to celebrate one of our friend's birthday.

"Then two of our male friends spotted something strange in the waters and they used a plastic bag.

"And we found this creature.

"Why does Pasir Ris beach always have weird creatures?"
What is this strange worm-like creature at Pasir Ris Park?
What is this strange worm-like creature at Pasir Ris Park?
What is this strange worm-like creature at Pasir Ris Park?
What is this strange worm-like creature at Pasir Ris Park?
What is this strange worm-like creature at Pasir Ris Park?

Why do I get a sense of deja vu?


Oh, that's why.

The so-called beautiful fireworms (Chloeia sp.) can be common on some of our shores. For instance, here are some fireworms that were found in a single morning at Changi.

P1050016

Because there is some variation in colours and patterns, I think it is possible that more than one species of fireworm is present in Singapore, although only one species - Chloeia flava - has been positively identified so far.

Beautiful fireworm (Chloeia sp.)
Chloeia flava, Raffles Marina;
(Photo by Ria)

Beautiful fireworm (Chloeia sp.)
Chloeia sp., Changi;
(Photo by Ria)


Chloeia sp., Changi;
(Photo by Chay Hoon)

We have yet to determine the identity of the particular fireworm species often encountered on the beaches at Changi and Pasir Ris.

I'm particularly puzzled and amused by the question, "Why does Pasir Ris beach always have weird creatures?" I'm half-tempted to come up with a nonsensical answer involving deformed mutants due to sewage and toxic waste, radiation from Fukushima, or genetic experiments gone horribly wrong. This person needs to explore some of our other shores, where she is likely to encounter even more bizarre marine organisms - fireworms are hardly the strangest things to live in our waters.

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