(CNN)–Meet what could be the first celebrity clam. People are marveling over a clam that seemed to season itself, but the truth is that viewers are witnessing a survival attempt.
This is the story of a clam that did not clam up, and that little slurp launched an internet star as it slithered across a heavily salted tabletop.
“The video doesn’t appear to be fake. Just not very nice,” Rebecca Bray, Marine Biologist at Mystic Aquarium, said.
It was one of those images that once seen cannot be unseen. The video slug was “Clam eating salt.”
“No it’s trying to save its life,” said Bray. She sees clams do this all the time when they’re disturbed…
“Oh gross ok.”
Also, that’s not a tongue.”It’s actually the animal’s foot,” said Bray. “It’s a very strong muscular tissue.”
Clams use it to move or to bury themselves in the sand to hide from predators. As for salt, it agitates clams.
A YouTube user shared his technique of sprinkling salt down the hole left by a razor clam to see it surface. Others force feed a clam a potato chip.
“It would be a lot like rubbing salt on a wound,” said Bray.”It’s very sensitive tissue.”
And that’s not a tongue, that’s actually a foot!
“You know when you eat a clam, you actually eat that foot,” said Bray.”Technically, you’ve got its foot in your mouth.”
The moral of the story, take talk of salt eating clams with a grain of salt.
Even the marine biologist admits to eating clams, but said salt would just be adding insult.
Here’s a picture of a clam doing the same thing, but trying to get back into the water.