Goose barnacles

These goose barnacles, clinging to a marker buoy and a whisky bottle, have been thrown ashore by the storms. Goose barnacles have the smoothest, lustrous, pearly-white shells and look more like some kind of mussel than the jagged little barnacles that coat the rocks.

Common goose barnacles clinging to the pin of a marker buoy

Common goose barnacles clinging to the pin of a marker buoy

Goose barnacles washed ashore on a marker buoy

Goose barnacles washed ashore on a marker buoy

Baby goose barnacles with Grants whisky...

Baby goose barnacles with Grants whisky…

Sometimes they’re called goose-neck barnacles, or smooth goose barnacles or common goose barnacles. All the goose-y references are said to originate from old beliefs that geese hatched from the shells.

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One thought on “Goose barnacles

  1. Martin Shorthose

    Thanks for an excellent blog – I’ve been reading instead of working all day so far! As my wife and I are moving to Newborough shortly, it’s given us plenty to think about and to look forward to.
    On the Barnacle Geese reference, I heard that because these birds were seen to suddenly appear (from migration we know now), they were said to hatch from barnacles according to folklore. This went down very well with the Church of course, whose rules on fasting included refraining from eating meat for large parts of the year. Since these geese hatched from barnacles, they were then able to be classified as fish, and so could be eaten all year round!
    An official ruling was made by the Roman Catholic Church in some Southern State of the US a few years ago after an appeal by a local crocodile farmer claimed his livelihood was threatened by fasting from eating meat. Crocodile was pronounced by the Bishop as being fish! Go figure!

    Reply

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