Sea Urchins

Sea Urchins

In the last post we discussed the “King of the Fish,” or the Atlantic salmon.  We’ve decided to dive a little deeper (well, kind of) and write about an undoubtedly interesting sea creature: the Sea Urchin.  If you’ve ever been scuba diving, you may have come across what looks like a ball of black spikes, which was most likely today’s topic of choice.  Sea Urchins come in various colors like black, olive green, brown, purple and red.  However, the various colors and sizes are dependent on location.

Open water scuba diving is a beautiful experience.  Among all the colors and marine life, it’s easy to forget about the possible dangers of the ocean.  Sea Urchins can be considered one of these dangers and should be avoided by inexperienced divers.  Urchins have long sharp spikes, thicker than a needle, and some can even penetrate through thick wet suits.  The types of poisonous sea urchins include the Echinthuride, Tripneustes, and the Toxopneustes.  Although not all sea urchins are poisonous, you’ll still get a nice sting if you make physical contact with them.  (And if it does happen, contrary to popular belief, peeing on a sting is just a myth!)  Sea urchins aren’t swimming around and looking for prey during the daylight hours.  You may find them anchored to reefs, rocks, or the ocean floor.  During the day, if the water is murky and you cannot see where you step, and at night when they are actively roaming for food, are the times to be more cautious of your surroundings!

Surprisingly, sea urchins are edible.  Such as the saying “Don’t judge a book by its cover,” the same can be applied to the appearance of the urchin’s shell.  It has a strong fishy odor, comparable to an oyster, but not all the same qualities.  Just like an oyster, the outside is rough but once you crack it open, a gooey orange substance is found inside.  There’s five pieces inside the skull of a sea urchin, which are considered the organs, and that is the part that you eat.  Sea Urchins are also called “Uni” and are a delicacy in parts of the world, notably popular in some European countries.  Currently not so much the in the United States, but it is making its way here.  Sea Urchins are considered a fine cuisine by many, and can be implemented in traditional dishes, like pasta, sushi, or served by itself. 

Although we do not have any titles specifically dedicated to the Sea Urchin, we’ve hand-picked some related DVDs that you may enjoy!

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