Next time you’re on the beach in Southern California, keep one eye peeled for an inky blob the size of a cat. The California black sea hare, or Aplysia vaccaria, can grow up to 30 pounds, making it the largest gastropod on the planet. Recently, Coyote Peterson, host of the YouTube series Beyond the Tide, and tidal pool expert Aron Sanchez ventured out to a rocky beach in Southern California on a hunt for the black sea hare—and they found a fantastic specimen. Weighing about 10 pounds and stretching about 2 feet, the hare (so named for the tentacles some think resemble hare ears) is as black as obsidian. But despite the vampy looks, the species is pretty safe for humans to encounter: It doesn’t bite, it’s non-toxic, and it doesn’t squirt clouds of ink like other sea hares. That said, it’s probably best to leave the up-close cuddling to the experts.
[h/t Laughing Squid]
Header images via YouTube