These are cuttlefish eggs: they resemble bunches of glossy black grapes – only the eggs are not perfectly rounded but drawn out into a point. Each egg is individually strapped onto a piece of driftwood with something that looks remarkably like black sticky-tape.
The Common Cuttlefish (Sepia officinalis Linnaeus) has an elaborate mating procedure in which the male cuttlefish makes a courting display, with lots of postures, poses, and colour changes, at any likely recipient of his amorous advances. If he does not receive an identical display of movements from the other cuttlefish (which would signify he had approached another male by mistake) he assumes he is in the presence of a female.
The male cuttlefish has come prepared with a handy packet of spermatophores that he promptly delivers (using a specially adapted tentacle) through the funnel and into the body cavity of the other cuttlefish. The female then blows the fertilised eggs back out through her funnel and wraps them round objects like seaweed or driftwood. Mostly the eggs are black but they can be clear and change colour later.
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