A mysterious alien object covered with giant barnacles has residents of New Zealand perplexed. Local resident Melissa Doubleday was driving past Muriwai Beach near Auckland when she encountered the strange scene about five kilometres down from the shore.
She posted photos of it on the Muriwai & Waimauku Area Community Group Facebook page 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.?
“It looks like worms with shells I’ve never seen before with these funny creatures that just [coming] out.”
Hundreds liked and shared the picture of the strange looking object on the Facebook. The mysterious object inspired all sorts of conspiracy theories as to what hides beneath the thick layer of barnacles.
Some alien enthusiasts claimed it as an alien time capsule while others referred to it as a sea monster. Others suggested it was an ancient Maori canoe, H.P Lovecraft’s sea monster Cthulhu, Falcor from The NeverEnding Story. Someone put in a dash of humor pointing out that it could be a Rastafarian whale.
Not So Mysterious
However, despite all the conspiracy theories that may have surfaced, the object, as it turns out, is not so mysterious after all. In reality, the object appears a piece of driftwood covered with gooseneck barnacles. Although the creepy crawly things are sure to freak you out, they are not harmful to the public.
Gooseneck barnacles are filter-feeding crustaceans that 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 bizarre object most likely washed ashore after waves may have detached the object from the deep confines of the ocean.
The strange scene has become almost normal for New Zealand beaches after recent earthquakes dramatically changed the landscape. The entire seabed was lifted by two metres on the South Island in November.