People are freaking out over a sea creature recently caught by fishermen off the coast of Coney Island in New York City. However, as strange as it may seem, the explanation is not as odd as you might expect.
The video (below) of the sea creature was recently uploaded to TikTok by user Natalie1526n and has so far racked up over 1.4 million views. A squirming amorphous blob, the animal was speculated by many keyboard biologists to be a squid or perhaps some unknown creature from the deep. Others have said it bears some resemblance to the Demogorgon from Stranger Things. However, it looks like the explanation might be a lot less otherworldly.
“It’s a curled up ray. It’s also male as can be seen by its big claspers,” James Maclaine, a senior curator of the Fish Collection at the Natural History Museum in London, told IFLScience.
“Upon further investigation, I see some people have ID’d it as Raja eglanteria – the clearnose skate – that sounds right to me,” he added.
“It’s weird that people are so freaked out by it as judging by their fishing gear, that’s exactly the kind of thing they were fishing for!”
Indeed, a clearnose skate is nothing too unusual, as unsightly as they may be at times. The species is relatively common across much of the Atlantic and Gulf coasts of the US. Although they are not directly targeted by fishermen, the skates are frequently taken as bycatch during groundfish trawling and scallop dredging.