On the coasts of the Chukotka Peninsula, discovered huge "sea snakes" from the US
Residents of villages in the southern part of the Chukotka Peninsula have repeatedly reported about the discovery of long serpentine objects on the sea coasts. “Sea serpents” this year were found after strong storms on the sea beaches of the peninsula. The brown “heads” and “bodies” appearing from the waves of the sea attracted the attention of sailors from cargo ships passing through the north of the Bering Sea.
According to some, they are most likely living organisms: large worms or sea snakes unknown to science. Others believed that these are objects of anthropogenic origin. Still others claimed that they were some kind of “mutants”. But few people guessed about the relationship of "sea snakes" with kelp ("sea kale").
Photo: Maxim Antipin
Nereocystis Lutke (Nereocystis luetkeana) is a representative of brown algae.In our seas, the species is invasive - “American”, which is distributed along the Pacific coast of North America from Unalaska Island to California. The alga has a trunk up to 25 meters long, which gradually expands upwards.
At the end of the stem there is a bubble with a diameter up to 20 cm. On the upper part of the bubble there are several short double branches, to which up to 40 long “leaves” - plates can be attached. The length of the individual plates reaches 9 meters. Sporangia are formed on the plates. The narrowest lower part of the trunk is attached to the ground with the help of rhizoids, which form a cone with a diameter of up to 30 centimeters.
Photo: Maxim Antipin
Despite their gigantic size, these algae are annuals. They begin to grow in February-March, spread the debate in November and come off the ground in December. Nereocistis occurs at depths of up to 20 meters. Its upper part of the trunk with a bubble and long plates floats near the surface. Nereocistis thickets are so thick that it is impossible to get on a boat through them.
In December, after the separation of algae from the ground, nereotsistis goes on a trip to the Pacific Ocean.Bubble barrels are often thrown out on the Aleutian and Commander Islands. Less often, nereocistis reaches the southern Kuril Islands and the northern part of the Bering Sea.
Although the seaweed is quite “alien” for us, it still has family ties with the Chukchi Peninsula. It turns out that the algae received the species name Lutka in honor of the sloop commander Senyavin Fyodor Petrovich Litke (Friedrich Benjamin von Lütke).
A part of the way of this famous round-the-world traveler passed along the coast of the Chukotka Peninsula. About this famous expedition (1826-1828) the geographical names of the Chukotka Peninsula to this day recall: Senyavin Strait, Aboleshev Bay, Cape Mertens. By the way, the author of the name of the algae is one of the participants of the same Around the World - the famous botanist Karl Mertens.