Update: This story has been updated with new information that has come to light.
A man from Auckland, New Zealand, has baffled the Internet with a now-viral video of some strange little creatures wiggling ever so slightly in his mother’s hand. The video now has over 30,000 views.
Tim Clerke posted the video to Facebook to receive help in identifying the mysterious critters. He wrote: “My mother found these on the kitchen floor this morning. One is still alive. Anyone know what they are? Nikki is horrified and will have nightmares for weeks!”
An entomology team from Biosecurity New Zealand suggested they are the legs of a moth, with perhaps the rest of the body eaten by a cat.
"They suggest that something (possibly a cat) had just recently eaten the body of the moth, which may explain why a few of the legs were still twitching,” a Biosecurity spokesperson said to Yahoo7.
Detached moth legs is the leading explanation at the moment. Sarah Tassell, collection manager of the New Zealand Arthropod Collection at Manaaki Whenua Landcare Research, told Stuff she also believes them to be moth legs: "If you look at the photos you can see that what you are looking are jointed legs. They are hairy and have some distinctive spines."
The University of Auckland have said they believe the video to be a hoax. Eric Edwards, an insect expert, noted they could be rat-tailed maggots, according to the New Zealand Herald. However, he has since revised his stance after discussion with co-workers and admits they could be moth legs.
At one point, it seemed rat-tailed maggots led the way for best explanation. These critters can cause myiasis in humans – a parasitic infection whereby the maggots feed off of the host's tissues.
A study in 2014 reported on the case of a 42-year-old woman with an intestinal infection due to the maggots. The patient presented to the hospital with abdominal pains and diarrhea lasting for three weeks. Treatment with anti-inflammatory drugs and antibiotics substantially reduced her symptoms.
While the "creatures" (or ahem legs) continue to captivate the online world, commenters have taken to Facebook to share their thoughts on the video.
“That’s some creepy shit.”
“Oh well time to burn the house down now.”
“Arrghh, they’re horrible!! Kind of string-ray like.”
“Is someone holding them? OMG blerk vomit.”
Are you horrified? Intrigued? Don’t want to think about it? Well at this time, we too cannot confirm the validity of the video or the species of creature. IFLScience has reached out to experts and is awaiting a response. For now, it seems, the mystery remains. Watch this space.
[H/T: New Zealand Herald]