If it washed up on the beach. The sea whip coral is technically an animal but you might not guess that:
Sea whip coral grow up to three feet long and can come in various colors—from vivid reds, oranges, and yellows to rich violets, the Miami Herald reports. Growing along the sea whip’s cable-like form are tiny colonies of polyps that feed on plankton and give the coral structural support, Live Science reports. Although corals resemble plants, they are considered animals because they do not make their food as plants do. Coral is also classified under the same phylum, Cnidaria, as sea anemones and jellyfish…
“To my knowledge, the reason that the coral has washed up is that it has broken off and therefore no longer alive,” Claussen tells Live Science. “I’m not sure that you would be able to tell even if it was alive. We recommend just leaving the sea whip on the beach because it is natural and will decompose and help the island.”Elizabeth Gamillo, “Tangled ‘Cord’ Mistaken for Litter Is Actually a Sea Creature” at Smithsonian Magazine
Didn’t Alfred Russel Wallace says something about the “plenitude of life”? Life taking every form it possibly can in every place it possibly can?