Is it an art installation? Aliens making contact with humans?
Well, it’s none of those, but this mysterious looking object that washed up on a New Zealand beach is pretty creepy to the unfamiliar, nonetheless. The nightmarish creation was discovered by Melissa Doubleday, who snapped pics of the oddity and posted it on a local Facebook group.
“Just curious to know if anyone knows what this is??! Washed up on Muriwai Beach,” Doubleday wrote on Saturday.
According to Stuff, visitors have been making there way down with cameras in hand to capture the sight that’s been dubbed the “Muriwai Monster.”
But it turns out it’s very likely that it’s a piece of driftwood covered with gooseneck barnacles, the New Zealand Marine Sciences Society told the news outlet.
Gooseneck barnacles are usually found attached to floating objects in the ocean, as well as wharves and piers, according to the Australian Museum.
It’s considered a rare delicacy in Portugal and Spain, where the crustaceans are known as percebes and can cost more than 100 Euros (US$106) per plate in restaurants. Even everyone’s favourite shouty chef man Gordon Ramsay is a fan of them.
While this discovery might be appetising for fishermen along Iberian coasts, the smell is more confronting for curious Kiwis who’ve paid a visit to the object. “Yesterday afternoon it was just dry and smelly,” Doubleday told Mashable via Messenger.
Beauty is certainly in the eye of the beholder.