THE WACHOWSKI brothers have a theory, put forward in The Matrix, that our everyday
lives are a virtual reality illusion and we’re actually acting as bio-fuel batteries
for aliens, each of us wired up in series in individual cells of amniotic fluid.
Life for the ectoprocts who lived in these now vacant cells on the fronds of Hornwrack,
Flustra foliacea (left) must be rather similar. You’ll often find hornwrack on the
strandline - this specimen came from Cleethorpes beach - and, as the name suggests,
you might think that it was a dried up seaweed, rather than the colonial home of
thousands of little animals.
The moose-antler shaped frond looks as if it has been cut from old stiffened Hessian.
Hornwrack 60x approx. There are cells on both sides of the frond.
Larry and Andy, the Ectoproct brothers, hit on the idea for their next movie.