Dammit Mother Nature: Weird-Ass Living Rocks With Guts

July 11, 2013


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.

  • Dong Lan Chen

    Just wondering....Is it possible to bring one back (as a whole rock) back to the states legally?

  • so is it a rock? a living rock?

  • Cilpa Bajracharya


  • Miguel Ángel Labarca

    Hi, I'm Chilean and I love "piures" but to tell the true:

    - This is not you're everyday meal in Chile. Is something that you get on special occasions i.e. when you go to the coast and want to get something typical.

    - Is rare to take piures alone. The usual preparation is in the "mariscal" which is an assortment of raw sea food with lemon and onions and the "paila marina" which is more or less the same but cooked instead of raw.

    - There are many Chileans that finds piures as disgusting as all the commentators of this post. And almost every little kid hates them. So the true is that the inborn tendency to avoid this things, is the culture that teach you to enjoy them. Just like sushi, or garden snails (vive la France!)

    If you're interested in the curiosities of Chilean cuisine (the freakish and the mainstream) don't take my word, take Bourdain's word:


  • Nicole Lupa Regina

    Is there a way to get one as a pet rock?

  • OCC

    so.. does it taste like a seashell?

  • Miguel Ángel Labarca

    Kind of, but stronger flavor and softer consistency. Have you ever tried sea urchin? Something like that.

  • mewmix

    This honestly made my stomach turn.....

  • PastMidnight

    "Part of the ship, part of the crew"...

  • Pow

    it's a cylon!

  • BigChat88

    i'm from chile, it's called "Piure" and it tastes like a concentrated mussel.

  • Ohmygod the spaghetti monster DOES exist. Does it fly? I don't know who I am anymore.

  • Bahaha! :D

  • Fercho

    Dear God, we need to report another bug.

  • Azariel_z

    Delicious Piure, and some lemon juice , add salt and I hope you have a chick near you for when the "thing" starts to kick in..

  • XinFu

    Here in Chile we call it Piure, and it's really tasty.

  • Azariel_z

    it's delicious, I am Chilean too, although now I live on another country, I miss how my grandmother used to prepare those when the season kicked in, Oh, I think they forgot to mention also works as an aphrodisiac...

  • Looks like a cross between a tomato and a clam. WTF mother nature?

  • JimmyThr

    Gives a whole new meaning to kidney stones.

  • pollitosincola

    Go home Mother Nature... you're drunk

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