Beachgoers from Texas found themselves in an old-fashioned monster movie last week when an unidentified creature washed up on shore.
It took a team of expert researchers to finally identify what this strange animal was, and how it found its way out of the ocean.
"To come across something strange like this was totally exciting"
Edie Bresler from Corpus Christi, Texas went out looking for treasure one morning and found something totally bizarre instead.
A flat, brown creature with huge eyes, bumpy skin, and human-like lips had washed up on shore.
Bresler says he's "been beachcoming all my life," but still had no idea what he was looking at. He compared it to "the creature from the black lagoon."
"To come across something strange like this was totally exciting."
Bresler showed park rangers his photos, but even they were stumped. They passed the pictures on to wildlife experts at the Padre Island National Seashore, who finally cracked the case.
"Batfish use their pectoral, or side-fins, as 'legs' to 'crawl' on the seafloor to feed on worms, and small crustaceans and fish," the park said in a Facebook post.
"They live their lives in complete darkness, where large eyes probably come in handy to avoid lanternfish or other possible predators."
Fish Out Of Water
Another "sea monster" terrified families when it washed on shore after Hurricane Harvey last year.
Marine biologists identified the creepy carcass as a snake eel, which usually burrows deep underground.
Experts guess that the hurricane's strong winds and currents pushed the creature onto the beach.
From beastly to beautiful, divers stunned the world with their photos of massive "jelly tubes."
These colorful creations, which can be 32-feet long, are made of thousands of tiny animals called zooids.
Experts have compared the tube, called a pyrosome, to "a floating wind sock" that eats plankton as it glides on ocean currents.
Smile! You're looking at one of the ocean's ugliest residents, the snaggletoothed sheepshead fish.
These fish are common off the coast of Florida, but known around the world for their human-like smiles.
Sheepshead fish use their pearly whites to eat shrimp and oysters.
Looking for more strange creatures? We've got 'em!