Sea anemones. Millers has them by the bucket load. You only see hundreds of the lil critters when you walk out over the reef at low tide. There's so many of them it's kind of hard not to step on them. Which makes you feel guilty. I mean, it seems kind of cruel to just go stomp on something like that. So you try and avoid them, but then you do your ankle in whilst mid-way through an anemone avoidance maneuverer.
So then you go, stuff it, I'll just walk right on over the buggers. But then there's still that niggling feeling in the back of your head that's it's animal cruelty on a microscopic scale. Like you wouldn't think kicking your dog is cool, so why would squashing an anemone be any more acceptable?
Do these squishy ou's have lil Gath helmets hidden under their tentacles, to protect their pip from random stompings? In a moment of extreme work avoidance behaviour on the return from my surf this evening I decided to suss out the red devils in more detail.
Turns out they don't have a brain. Strike 1 for the "Feel no guilt for standing on them" column. Even better, they have a really primitive nervous system. Strike 2. With no special sense organs. Strike 3. So there we have it folks, stand on them to your hearts content, they don't seem to give a shit! No brain = no pain.
Ag shame, you say. Maybe we're breaking their leg or arm or tentacle or whatever. Nup, no skeleton either. Now that you look at it I'm not to sure why on earth these poor things even bother to exist. They can't think, or feel, or really move for that matter. They don't even score a pomp to alleviate their boring existence. They just sommer spew the sperm or eggs out their mouth and then hope for the best.
So there we have it, maybe standing on them is the highlight of their day - so don't feel bad!
(Millerslocal doesn't advocate deliberately standing on sea anenomes, just don't lose sleep over it if you do.)