The Museum is open Wed–Mon, 10:00 AM–5:00 PM. The Sea Center on Stearns Wharf is open daily from 10:00 AM–5:00 PM.

Found this by Stearns Wharf

Trying to find out what this is...

Thank you

Layton, Santa Barbara - June 28, 2022

Curator Response

Hi Layton,

Thanks for sharing this interesting find. This is actually a snail, although you wouldn’t think so at first glance. It looks like Carinaria japonica, a pelagic (meaning its home is in the water column in the open ocean) snail. The end at the top of your photo is the head, the small white hook at right is its visceral mass—covered by a thin shell when live—and the orangish halfmoon at left is its foot. This page by the Scripps Institution of Oceanography has more information, including a video showing a live snail swimming hypnotically in the open sea.

Stay curious,

Curator of Malacology Daniel L. Geiger, Ph.D.