A real-life "alien" sea monster was speared "somewhere in New Jersey" and a photo of it has gone viral through Reddit. What is it?
The photo, which doesn't explain who, what, where or why, simply shows an eel-like fish, with gaping, terrifying teeth, and a spear through its middle with someone's hand holding it up to the camera. The only details included were that it was caught "somewhere in New Jersey."
Why all the secrecy?
Maybe because it's possibly enhanced with Photoshop and shows a rather common animal trolling the deeps of lakes, rivers and oceans: a Sea Lamprey.
Sea Lampreys are scary to be sure, but they're not alien by any means. They live in deeper water, latching on to their prey with a row of razor sharp teeth and literally suck the life out of their victims.
Several clues in the photo reveal some trickery. The area surrounding the boat is lush with foliage (in Winter?) and the Sea Lamprey itself is twisted at such an angle that it's difficult to count or measure the gills, which would indicate it's actual size.
Sea Lampreys can grow up to 3 feet long, but this one looks to be as large as a man, so it's probably some skills in the darkroom which add to the scary effect.
Still, it's the kind of stuff nightmares are made of.
And, apparently, there are lots of Reddit users losing sleep.
What do you think? Is this a trick?
Please leave comments below.
Learn more about Sea Lampreys on Wikipedia:
The third Managing Our Nation's Fisheries conference will be held May 7-9, 2013 in Washington, D.C., with a welcome reception on the evening of May 6. The conference is convened by the eight Regional Fishery Management Councils and hosted by the Pacific Fishery Management Council.
This conference follows up on the highly successful Managing Our Nation's Fisheries conferences held in 2003 and 2005. Managing Our Nation's Fisheries 3 will focus on how concepts, policies, and practice of fishery sustainability can be advanced to a higher level. Sessions will be of interest to members of the public, fishery participants, environmental advocates, fishery scientists and managers, policymakers, legislators, and journalists.
The discussion will address Magnuson-Stevens Act reauthorization issues, as well as adjustments to current management that do not require legislation to implement. The conference will provide a forum for information exchange and an opportunity to hear a wide range of perspectives on the sustainability of fish stocks and ecosystem functions, and the fishing communities that depend on them.