Rare and expensive seafood Gooseneck barnacles 'worth £4,000' washes up on Gwynedd beach

It is understood the gooseneck barnacles are worth £80 a kilo. Credit: Media Wales

A holidaymaker in Gwynedd discovered thousands of “extraordinary” white-shelled creatures washed up on a beach.

Dave McGirr, from Staffordshire, said they were attached to a 20ft tree trunk on the Criccieth shoreline.Dave, a keen photographer, captured the “peculiar” driftwood castaways on camera and said after looking them up on Google, he was "astonished" to discover they are reportedly gooseneck barnacles.

Dave said they taste like lobster. Credit: Media Wales.

They are described as rare 'alien-like' sea creatures, said to be a delicacy, selling for more than £80 a kilo," he said.

The rare species of barnacle are a delicacy in countries such as Portugal and Spain, but have been known to wash up on UK shores after storms.

According to the Wildlife Trusts, barnacles are a type of crustacean, related to crabs and lobsters. Goose barnacles filter feed on plankton and detritus, capturing it from the water with their specially adapted legs.

The creatures can be bought fresh online for around £80-£90 per kilo – or cheaper if frozen.

Dave’s find is understood to be worth around £3,000-£5,000.

The taste is said to resemble a cross between lobster and clam, with a texture similar to octopus.Traditionally gathered from underwater rocks and crevices on Spain’s Costa da Morte, they are among the world’s most expensive seafoods.

Dave said they look like small octopuses, or squid, and have tiny tentacles that reach out from their shells.

Asked if he has ever tried eating them, he replied: "I’m not sure I’d want to try.”