There is an unexpected critter hidden in plain sight in the sandy beach of Datai Bay. Inspect closer and you may find a jelly-like being with greyish tentacles in the lower extent of the beach when the tide is at its lowest. This is a sea anemone.
While most of us are used to seeing sea anemones underwater (think about clownfish swimming amongst the stinging tentacles of the Magnificent anemone), some have been pushed out of the water due to competition for space, which is what we think happened to the sea anemone hiding in the sand at low tide.
Like its other cnidarian relatives of sea jellies and corals, the sea anemone has stinging tentacles that can be extended to catch approaching prey. After catching prey, the extended tentacles bring it into the mouth using shorter tentacles lining its oral disc. Do not worry about the tentacles stinging us, our skin is too thick for this particular species’ stingers to do any harm.
If you see one dug into the sand as the tide recedes, please do not touch it nor pick it up to throw it into the shallow waters. The sea anemone is probably comfortable at where it is at. Interestingly, it can move out of it burrow whenever necessary.
Enjoy exploring the beach during your stay with us.