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The bizarre creature appears to have been pulled from the water by an angler, though it’s not clear exactly where it was caught.
A video shared on TikTok by Nataliia Vorobok shows the animal flopping about on some decking, displaying one long tentacle and another two shorter appendages. The greyish-coloured creature appeared to have a gaping mouth, as well as gills where you might expect its eyes to be.
Take a look at the strange animal here:
Viewers were left entirely confused by the creature, with many desperate to find out what it was. One social media user described it as a ‘sea squirrel’, while others compared it to the slimey Demogorgon from Netflix’s Stranger Things.
One viewer wrote:
That’s a Pokemon throw it back before it whiplash you [sic]
I thought it was a squid and then a bunny at the same time.
The person behind the video was apparently just as confused as those watching it, as a voice can be heard saying:
What the hell, what is that? Mum, do you see this?
Though the creature certainly looks like it could be from another planet, I can officially confirm it’s from Earth.
Experts at the charity Ocean Conservation Trust identified the sea creature as ‘some kind of elasmobranch’; a term which refers to cartilaginous fish such as sharks, rays, and skates.
Marcus Williams, Marine Animal Expert at the Ocean Conservation Trust, told UNILAD:
Our marine experts here at the Ocean Conservation Trust have taken a look at the video and without seeing the animal first hand it is of course tricky to identify 100%.
However, from what we can see, it does appear to be an underdeveloped skate. It’s always interesting to find unusual types of creatures that haven’t been seen before in the ocean and since only 5% of it has so far been explored, it’s likely that there are still many animals living there that we are yet to see or discover.
As an ocean conservation charity, it’s one of the many reasons we feel that it is so important to look after our ocean.
The expert’s comments suggest some TikTok users were along the right lines with their suggestions, as many claimed the creature was a ‘clearnose skate’ which had folded itself up to protect itself.
According to the National Aquarium, the clearnose skate is flat and ‘shaped like a rhombus’, with a pointed snout, two wings and a tail ending in two small dorsal fins.
They are typically found inshore in the Atlantic, from Massachusetts to south Florida, and along the eastern part of the Gulf of Mexico.
It might have been more exciting if the creature was found to be some other-worldly visitor, but it’s nice to have the mystery solved. Hopefully the angler went on to put the animal back in the ocean, where it belongs.
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