A massive alien-like ‘creature’ covered in barnacles which washed up on a New Zealand beach has left locals scratching their heads.
Gobsmacked Melissa Doubleday was driving past Muriwai Beach, near Auckland, when she spotted the eerie object lying on the sands.
She posted photos of it on Facebook asking: “Just curious to know if anyone knows what this is??! Washed up on Muriwai Beach.
“I actually thought it was a washed up whale as I approached it, so weird.”
Hundreds liked the pictures on Facebook, and the mysterious object encouraged all sorts of conspiracy theories as to what hides beneath the thick layer of barnacles.
But some punters used their imagination and a dash of humour to point out it could be a Rastafarian whale, alien time capsule or even an ancient a Maori canoe.
Many commentators claimed it was a piece of driftwood covered in gooseneck barnacles.
That suggestion holds water as these filter-feeding crustaceans are often found in large numbers attached to driftwood.
They also use their flexible stalks to attach to other hard objects such as the hulls of ships, piers or rocks.
The perplexing find has been dubbed the ‘Muriwai Monster’.
The strange scene has become almost normal for New Zealand beaches after recent earthquakes dramatically changed the landscape.
The entire sea bed was lifted by two metres on the South Island in November.