So you work for the Monterey Bay Aquarium and you're walking across the street in front of the main entrance. Suddenly, out of the blue, you're whacked on the head -- hard. You reach up to touch the tender spot and your hair is wet, but not with blood.
You look around. There's no one nearby. What gives?
In her case, the star was an ochre sea star (Pisaster ochraceus) that fell from the sky, dropped by a passing seagull that bit off more than it could swallow.
Nanci and co-worker Debbie Raquenio, who was with her at the time, hustled the star into the care of our Husbandry staff, who returned it to the ocean off the back deck of the aquarium, in our Great Tide Pool. At last report, it was still there, safe from seagulls -- for the moment.
One lucky star.