So what is the holy heck is this thing washing up on our New Jersey beaches?!?!?  Is it a dinosaur fossil? An animal vertebra?  Some sort of sliced, deep-fried boardwalk snack tossed on the sand? Surprisingly, the answer to all of the above is no. You all had some funny guesses too...

Photo credit: Josh Calhoun
Photo credit: Josh Calhoun
loading...
attachment-mermaid
loading...
attachment-chapstick
loading...
attachment-potaos
loading...
attachment-chipstick
loading...
attachment-money
loading...
attachment-spine
loading...

Then we got to the serious answer...if you stumble across these on the beach, one commenter says to toss them back in the water because they are actually babies?!?!?

attachment-real explination
loading...

Ahhhh whelk babies!  I had NO idea this is what they look like before growing up! www.nj.gov says:

It's actually an egg casing! These are the egg casings of whelks, and inside each disk is a bunch of tiny little whelks As these sea snails grow, their shells grow with them. A whelk's shell can reach up to nine inches long. However, when they die they leave behind their shells. The shells then become homes for other marine life such as hermit crabs or a hiding place for an octopus.

So cool! Here is a photo of a full sized whelk shell...

attachment-Busycon_carica
loading...

I can't believe this comes from that!  So if you stumble across one of these things now you know what it is and what to do!  Thanks to all the locals for your information and the comedy...

Check out these amazing creatures of Jenkinson's Aquarium

10 Exotic Animals That Are Legal To Own In New Jersey

Who woulda thought?

LOOK: Here are the pets banned in each state

Because the regulation of exotic animals is left to states, some organizations, including The Humane Society of the United States, advocate for federal, standardized legislation that would ban owning large cats, bears, primates, and large poisonous snakes as pets.

Read on to see which pets are banned in your home state, as well as across the nation.