A fisherman was left gobsmacked after hauling a three-legged slimy creature from the Atlantic Ocean
A man was perplexed by a strange critter he reeled out of a river, prompting people to speculate on what it could be.
The critter is clearly hooked to a fishing line in the footage shows it flailing around on a pier, which was uploaded on Facebook.
“Somebody tell me what the f*** this is coming out the river,” the man who caught the creature wrote on Facebook.
The skate was reacting to being caught while still attached to fishing line. Source: TikTok/Natalie1526n
The video, shared by the man from the US state of Arkansas, has attracted millions of viewed since it was uploaded.
People in the comments assumed the creature was a fish or squid, while others suggested it was a stingray or skate.
Bulbous-headed creature is seen with a fishing line in its huge mouth after it was caught off Coney Island, Brooklyn
One outlandish prediction was that it was spawned from a squirrel and a fish, saying “contaminated rivers are deforming area fish”.
“Looks like a baby rat,” one commented.
The sea monster twists and turns on the fishing boat decking
However, Joni Pini-Fitzsimmons, a PhD candidate in The Fish Lab at Macquarie University’s Department of Biological Sciences, was able to provide some light on the situation.
Ms Pini-Fitzsimmons stated that the species was “definitely a skate,” which is related to stingrays and explains the similarities.
Ms Pini-Fitzsimmons said the skate in the video seemed to be reacting to being caught by folding up its wings underneath its body, and that the skate in the video was certainly a male.
The three-legged creature coils itself into a ball after it was caught in the Atlantic Ocean
Skates are smaller than stingrays, with prominent dorsal fins, and lay eggs, as opposed to rays, which give birth to live young.
There are more than 150 species of skates, which do not like brackish and freshwater environments.