The Loch Ness Monster has got nothing on this. A creature – which looks like a mash-up of a dolphin, a crocodile, and an eel – has washed up in Australia.
Local fisherman Robert Tyndall took a photograph of the sea beast after finding it poking out onto a boat ramp in Swansea, New South Wales.
Since being uploaded to Facebook by Ethan Tippa, the image has divided opinion. Some have suspected that the image is photoshopped, with others speculating it’s a “prehistoric” sea monster. Many have suggested that the animal is actually a species of deep-sea shark or eel.
Marine biologist Dr. Julian Pepperell has said that the specimen is almost certainly a pike eel (Muraenesox bagio). The species is found throughout the Indo-Pacific Ocean and has often been reported in the coastal waters of New South Wales, eastern Australia.
He told the Newcastle Herald: “I think it's definitely a pike eel. The head is very indicative of that species.”
Although pike eels can grow up to 1.8 meters (5.9 feet), Dr. Pepperell added: “It's hard from the photo to get an idea of the scale.”