If you assumed that sharks have live births in the ocean, you'd only be half right. (Well, it's more of a 60/40 split.) Forty percent of the shark population lays eggs in rocks, kelp, or sand—and these egg cases sometimes look like they're from another planet. One popular TikTok account that shares content about shells and sea life along California's coast highlighted the spiral-shaped egg casing of the horn shark in a now-viral video. She found the unusual case lying in the middle of the sand, likely washed in from the tide.
Some sharks give birth to live young, and others are oviparous, meaning they lay eggs. California horn sharks mothers lay these corkscrew egg cases. When it comes out, it is very pliable, but hardens over time. Hope this lil guy makes it! ? #shark #sealife #oceanlife #fyp
The casing may look like a piece of amber glass, but it is actually soft and pliable on the outside. She points out that while it may look "squishy," the last thing you want to do is squeeze it. To show everyone the little shark inside, she picks up the egg and tries to find a little bit of light. When the sun hits the egg, the shark embryo can be seen swimming around inside.
In the video, @California.shelling explains that the horn shark normally lays its egg wedged deep into rocks so the shell won't break free. However, this little guy must not have been tight enough in the rocks and washed ashore with the waves. In an effort to save the unborn shark, the conscientious TikToker looks for a spot to secure the shell, ensuring the future shark's best chance of survival.
While there aren't a whole lot of great options near the shoreline, she settles on a grouping of rocks in a tidal pool. Here she hopes the egg will stay wedged into the rock and be able to hatch. Once hatched, the baby shark should be able to swim out into the ocean. There, he will be able to join all the other horn sharks.
Horn sharks are pretty harmless creatures who use their mouths to explore the shoreline. They are rather shy, opting to stay out of sight, even though they like shallow water. As they crawl about the ocean floor, they eat crabs and other invertebrates, snacking on small fish every now and then, too. Their most fascinating attribute is definitely their eggs, which are amazing specimens to see up close. The TikToker who found this egg said it best: "Hope this lil guy makes it!"