Spot these unusual shells from deep-sea squid next time you visit this Texas beach

The Padre Island National Seashore say the ram’s horn squid forms an internal shell which can wash up on shore

Collecting seashells on the beach may be a fun pastime for many. Looking at the wide variety of shells you can find, you may wonder what creature was living in it before it washed up onshore.

But, some shells may have never even had an animal living inside them. Some shells that wash to shore actually were inside of an animal.

According to a Facebook post by the Padre Island National Seashore (PINS), the ram’s horn squid, Spirula spirula, has a shell that is formed internally and is shaped like a ram’s horn. Hence, where it gets the name ram’s horn.

Ram’s horns squid are a small, deep-sea cephalopod that can have up to 40 gas chambers, which help it maintain buoyancy, PINS officials said.

PINS said because of its high level of buoyancy, the shell of the ram’s squid can still float to shore even after the squid has died.

The Ram’s squid has been known to be a rather mysterious creature, with scientists only capturing video footage of the cephalopod in the wild for the first time last year, according to the Smithsonian Magazine.

The magazine said the squid has become a rare siting due to being “the only living member of a unique family of squid.”

Next time you go to the beach, look out for those little shells, as you just found a little piece of the deep sea.

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About the Author:

Emily Martin is a digital producer trainee at KSAT. She earned a journalism degree from Texas State University, where she was news director at KTSW, the campus radio station. She has also interned at KXAN and KUT in Austin.