fish market
Representational ImageCreative Commons

Footage of bizarre creatures known as 'penis fish' has emerged online. What makes it creepy is that the slimy and pulsating worms are eaten raw in some countries. 

Igor Adameyko, 37, took the footage of the creature, also known as 'fat innkeeper worms' while visiting a biological station in the Russian Far East.

The Urechis unicinctus worms live at the bottom of the sea and are often eaten raw by people in South Korea, Japan and China.

These phallic-looking creatures are soft and passive and it feels like a 'well-cooked sausage', according to the researcher who took captured the video.  

The Swedish researcher who runs a laboratory and has a passion for marine biology said: "The echiura worms are absolutely harmless to humans (possessing no teeth) and they are pleasant to touch."

Dr Adameyko added: "Moreover, in Asian countries such as South Korea or China, they are used as a food that can be consumed raw or cooked in different styles."

These creatures create 'slime nets' to trap plankton drifting in the water and eat them. They typically live in burrows in muddy and sandy parts of the sea floor and their U-shaped burrows are often used by many other creatures as their temporary or permanent homes.

"For this reason, Urechises are often called 'fat innkeeper worms' (they are also called 'penis fish' for quite an obvious reason)," said Dr Adameyko. Innkeeper worms grow around 20cm (eight inches) long but their burrows can go several feet deep.

"Marine biology is my hobby, and sometimes I travel to visit my scientist friends all over the world to see what they are doing and to explore the objects they are studying," said Dr Adameyko.