This is a cross section of a colony of Pyura chilensis, a brainless filter feeding organism found in shallow waters off the coasts of Chile and Peru. They resemble squiggly rocks made out of cooked ground beef with nasty guts inside. Do people eat them raw? DAMN YEAH PEOPLE EAT THEM RAW.
...it eats by sucking in water and filtering out microorganisms -- and its clear blood mysteriously secretes a rare mineral called vanadium. Also, it's born male, becomes hermaphroditic at puberty, and reproduces by tossing clouds of sperm and eggs into the surrounding water and hoping they knock together.
Locals eat it raw or in stews, and non-locals describe the taste as "bitter" and "soapy" with a "weird iodine flavor."
Mmmm, bitter and soapy with a weird iodine flavor. I'm gonna be honest, I'm not sure God intended for us to eat these things. Of course you could argue the same thing about actual rocks, but a friendly giant told me they help aid digestion so I do eat a little parking lot gravel on the way to my car in the morning.
Hit the jump for several more shots, including a bunch on a plate, and a video of a dude cutting some open.
Thanks to Joanna and Imscuba, who want to know WTF the first person that cut one of these things open and put in their mouth was thinking.