Barnacle Geese

This is from Thomas Platter’s Travels in England 1599. I’ve heard this story before, but he’s the first I know of to send samples home. 

Claikgeese [barnacles] of which I sent a jug full of shells to Basel from Langue d’Oc, are to be found in England, more especially in Scotland. And these shells grow on old trees, ships, stones, and other objects, and where the seed falls, tiny shells form first, gradually growing larger until finally the shell bursts, and a claikgoose (bernicle) emerges as from an egg, increasing in size, half-white, half-black, or ashen, or so one hers from quite credible sources, and I beheld the actual head of such a goose.

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