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Things That Live in the Water

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"Goose barnacles": A 6-foot-long log composed of hundreds of barnacles, locked together, washed ashore near Swansea, Wales, in August. Each of the barnacles uses tentacles for snatching food, and a 6-foot mass of snake-like appendages, writhing simultaneously, terrified local beachgoers. Scientists said goose barnacles usually remain on the ocean floor.

"Tubifex worms": Using a flexible-hose camera, public utility officials in Raleigh, N.C., inspected a faulty water pipe under the Cameron Village shopping district in April and found a pulsating, tennis-ball-size mass attached to a pipe wall. Local biologists identified it as a colony of tubifex worms that navigated the system until finding a propitious feeding spot. Officials have attempted to assure residents that the worms are somehow no threat to water quality.

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