Strange growth seen on driftwood?

Just saw a very strange growth on some driftwood floating near the shore of a local lake. It is a thick spongy growth (several inches thick) with a grey mottled appearance on its surface, but if you break it up the interior is a clear translucent material. It is sticky but has no obvious smell. I have never seen anything like this. Is anyone familiar with this? It is fairly disgusting stuff.

You’re a goner.

Sounds like an opening
to a horror movie. You didn’t bring it home, did you?!! You tore it open? Let’s hope it was the momma and not the baby . . .


– Last Updated: Sep-30-09 10:40 PM EST –

I think what you saw was a colony of bryozoans, microscopic animals, if you can believe it. I've seen these pretty often in lakes and rivers. Here is a link for more information:

Nothing to worry about, by the way, just part of this strange world we live in.

Seen those and wondered the same thing
water boogers is a good and memorable description. I’ll never remember the technical name…

Alien life form womb of destruction.
Thanks for protecting us all by aborting it. You are like Will Smith in Independence Day . . . .



Bryozoan – I guess that is it.

rock snot maybe
on the wood? that’s not good!

Triffids NM

baby brains
An old professor of mine taught us the common name “Baby Brains” for a colony. It sticks with you.

Here is my bet…


Yeah, odd looking stuff
You would not think that a living organism or even a colony of living organisms would have a clear translucent gooey interior with no obvious interior texture or features.


– Last Updated: Oct-01-09 5:23 PM EST –

P-140 threw the gray thing from his boat into the water.

Bryozoans are very cool
I did a bunch of research on bryozoans after finding a human-brain-sized colony while paddling in Lake Arthur north of Pittsburgh. They are somewhat related to corals and are sort of in between being plants and animals – in fact they are sometimes called “moss animals.” The colonies are hollow because they are filter feeders and forming that shape allows the colony members to better feed from water that is channeled through. They are neat-looking under a microscope. And finding them in a waterway is a good thing because it indicates a healthy ecosystem and clean water – they don’t survive well in polluted water.

A great species to get your kids to watch for and learn about (the “alien brain” appearance is a plus.)

Town Creek
Town Creek on Guntersville lake is FULL of them. Was up there Wednesday and saw dozens of them on the downed tree limbs and stumps. No photos, had killed the battery by then.

One more child hood memory debunked
When I was an eight-old at camp, we learned that such things were carp eggs.