Goose bumps

My first day back at the beach I found a large signpost washed up on the shore. As always, I went to take a closer look. Attached to it was the most curious thing I have ever seen: dozens of tentacles with some sort of shell at the end of it. At first I thought it was a kind of sea creature wrapped around the pole, but the stalks seemed to come straight from the metal. Very curious indeed… Crouching down I noticed that the shells opened up when the water flooded them, and out came brown feathery legs. Surely, they were related to acorn barnacles. I did my best to move the rod as far into the water as I could, hoping that the incoming tide would take it back into the sea. Upon my return, I learned that they are goose barnacles*, and that it is quite rare for them to end up on the Dutch shore. (*Their name stems from the Medieval belief that barnacle geese were born of driftwood – before it was discovered that they migrate to the Arctic to breed.)

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