Things That Matter

These Penis Fish Are Taking Over California Beaches By The Thousands

If you’ve never heard about penis fish, the thousands of pulsating worms are here to give you a lesson in their existence. The marine spoon worm, scientifically known as urechis unicinctus, also widely known as the fat innkeeper worm are garnering the attention of many across the California coast after occupying the beaches of Marin County. 

Penis Fish are occupying Drakes Beach in Marin County after a storm in the Bay Area washed them ashore.

Penish fish have been sighted across the shores of Bodega Bay and Monterey according to a report by a biological who wrote about the phenomenon in Bay Nature magazine. 

Speaking about their presence, Ivan Parr writes in his piece for Bay Nature that the fat innkeeper worm can be “identified by a spatula-shaped proboscis used for feeding and sometimes grasping or swimming. The fat innkeeper’s family (Urechidae) contains only four species worldwide, collectively known as either innkeeper worms or, well, penis fish. This is why we prefer scientific names. U. caupo is the sole representative in North America, found only from Southern Oregon to Baja, with the bulk of sightings between Bodega Bay and Monterey. So, whether or not you feel privileged by its presence, U. caupo is an almost uniquely California experience, perhaps having the best claim for State Worm. ” 

Accorind to Parr, penis fish are a type of spoon worm that can be found throughout southern Oregon all of the way to Baja California. Parr also points out that while the physical appearance of the penis fish is odd, it makes sense for the life it lives. “The fat innkeeper is perfectly shaped for a life spent underground. Within a beach or mudflat, it digs a U-shaped burrow extending a few feet in length but no wider than the worm itself. The burrow’s front entrance pokes up like a little sand chimney. These can be seen clustered around the low tide line of a mudflat or sandy beach. The backdoor is marked by a pile of worm castings, which get projected out the end of the tunnel with a blast of water from the worm’s hindquarters,” he explains in his piece.

According to the scientist currently observing the phenomenon of penis fish appearances, the fish collect food and create shapes that attract other creatures such as the arrow goby, pea crabs and scale worms.

Parr says that the appearance of the worms comes at the hands of building a home on sand.  “Strong storms – especially during El Niño years – are perfectly capable of laying siege to the intertidal zone, breaking apart the sediments, and leaving their contents stranded on shore,” explains Parr. The scientist explains that there are no research programs dedicated to” explicitly taking stock of the worms.” However, there is something you can do yourself to monitor the fish if you’re interested. Parr says that citizens can report mass stranding and note when and where they occur. Also, if you’re interested in reporting the, be sure to note how many stranded worms you see.

The appearance of the thousands of marine worms, have undoubtedly put Twitter in to a frenzy.

“Looks like the 2020 Republican convention in Charlotte is getting started early,” one Twitter user cracked in the comments section of a post about the worms.

In response to a post about the penis fish, a marine ecologist explained that the occurrence is unusual for this time of year.

 “Rough weather can rip species out of sediment, especially if the morphology of the animal acts like a sail.Alternatively, where sediments are mobile the motion of suspended larger particles can kill organisms. Both mechanisms lead to mass stranding.” He also noted that it is unusal for this to happen in the winter. “It happens a lot in summertime after a period of calm sunny weather. Bivalves are exposed at the surface, algae grows on them in the still water, then next storm the algae acts like a sail. In this case, it’s possible mucus nets they use for feeding might act as a sail”

Of course pictures of the penis fish inspired jokes about personal experiences as well. 

“And another reason I don’t go in the ocean,” another user joked.  

And on that note, stay safe out there kids!

If you’ve never heard about penis fish, the thousands of pulsating worms are here to give you a lesson in their existence. The marine spoon worm, scientifically known as urechis unicinctus, also widely known as the fat innkeeper worm are garnering the attention of many across the California coast after occupying the beaches of Marin County. 

Penis Fish are occupying Drakes Beach in Marin County after a storm in the Bay Area washed them ashore.

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com

Jussie Smollett Speaks Out For The First Time In Months About His Alleged 2019 Attack— ‘They Won’t Let This Go’

Entertainment

Jussie Smollett Speaks Out For The First Time In Months About His Alleged 2019 Attack— ‘They Won’t Let This Go’

Nuccio DiNuzzo / Getty

In early 2019, “Empire “actor Jussie Smollett found himself thrust into the public spotlight of scrutiny after it was reported that he had been the victim of a hate crime. His original claim initially prompted public outrage and a flood of support from fans. Then, nearly three weeks later, the public was shocked to learn that Smollett had been charged with disorderly conduct and the false filing of a police report after it was determined that the attack had been staged. Worse? Officials suspected that Smollett himself had choreographed the entire attack from start to finish. In March of 2019, the actor was charged with 16 counts of disorderly conduct for allegedly filing a false police report that claimed two men attacked him while yelling racist and homophobic slurs at him.

Since then, the charges against Smollett have been dropped but his reputation remains tarnished. The court of public opinion has determined that he is a liar and fabricator. Ultimately he was dropped from his role on his show and he has remained relatively silent about the issue.

Now, a year after the alleged attack Smollett is speaking out about the controversy in a rare interview.

On Wednesday, the actor made an appearance in an Instagram Live conversation with author and activist Marc Lamont Hill. During the interview, Smollett addressed his ongoing trial calling the situation “frustrating, to say the least.”

“It’s been beyond frustrating, and I certainly am not going rogue,” Smollett explained. “I’m still taking the advice of my attorneys and everything like that, but I don’t really see, honestly, what staying quiet has really done, like, where it has gotten me. … It’s so much bigger than me.”

Smollett went onto share what the past year has done to him and shared that his legal team recently filed a motion against his indictment. The motion is set to be reviewed in court on Thursday. “I believe I have to give it up to God,” Smollett explained before adding that he thinks the legal motion will fall in his favor.

“They won’t let this go,” he explained. “It doesn’t matter — there is an example being made. And the sad part is that there’s an example being made of someone who did not do what they are being accused of.”

Addressing accusations that his original claims were all a hoax, Smollett said that “From the very, very beginning, it was set up to seem like I was lying about something or everything.”

Smollett claimed “there would be no reason for me to do this” and called the accusations “bulls—,” before adding that the “last thing” hew would ever want to do is “be portrayed as a victim.”

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com

The Motion Picture Academy Just Dropped Diversity Requirements For Oscar Nominations And It’s Pretty Lit

Entertainment

The Motion Picture Academy Just Dropped Diversity Requirements For Oscar Nominations And It’s Pretty Lit

Andrew H. Walker / Getty

Equity is coming to the Oscars.

The Academy Awards have long received critique and backlash for their lack of effort to ensure diversity among its nominees. The criticism of these practices dates back to its first show in 1929. Since then, only 6.4% of academy award nominees have been people of color. Since 1991, only 11.2% of the academy’s nominees have been people of color. What’s worse, according to research, white actors have managed to build their careers on winning Oscars for roles in which they played the parts of POC. In fact, more women who are white have won Oscars for brownface and yellowface portrayals of women of color than actual actresses of color.

This year, the Academy is finally making an effort to change.

On Tuesday, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced they made new eligibility requirements for the top prize at the Oscars.

Under the new guidelines for the ceremony’s Best Picture award, films are required to meet two out of four standards. They are: “on-screen representation, themes and narratives; creative leadership and project team; industry access and opportunities; and audience development.”

“We believe these inclusion standards will be a catalyst for long-lasting, essential change in our industry,” the Academy said in a statement.

The new changes will be required in the Best Picture category starting with the 96th Academy Award which will air in 2024.

“The aperture must widen to reflect our diverse global population in both the creation of motion pictures and in the audiences who connect with them. The Academy is committed to playing a vital role in helping make this a reality,” Academy President David Rubin and Academy CEO Dawn Hudson said in a joint statement.

The academy’s newest requirements outline that “films must have at least one of the lead actors or significant supporting actors represent an underrepresented racial group, with at least 30 percent of all actors in minor roles from underrepresented groups.”

It gets better though! The show will require those submitting projects to ensure diversity and inclusion behind the camera as well. The academy is also encouraging projects to ensure women who are either part of an underrepresented racial or ethnic group, and part of the LGBTQ+ community as well as people with disabilities.

Here’s to a better award show!

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com