Why Do Barnacles Attach Themselves To Ships?

The barnacle is a shelled fish, called a crustacean, that spends its life
attached to a hard surface. It fastens itself securely and feeds on plankton that drift along with the ocean currents and waves.

There are many types of barnacles, but it is the goose barnacle that causes the worst problems for ships. The goose barnacle got its name a long
time ago when people thought geese were born from them.

Goose barnacles can attach themselves to a ship in such large numbers that they slow it down. When that happens, the barnacles must be scraped off. Many other types of barnacles attach themselves to rocks. When the tide is high and they are covered with water, they open their shells and feed.

When the tide is low, they close their shells tightly and wait to be covered with water again. The goose barnacle is only two inches long, but the giant barnacle grows to a length of five or six inches.