A bizarre and baffling barnacle-covered object discovered on a beach in New Zealand has observers guessing over what it might be.
Melissa Doubleday spotted the strange 'thing' along Muriwai Beach and initially thought it could have been a whale that had washed ashore.
However a closer examination of the object indicated that was not the case, leaving Doubleday mystified.
After she posted pictures of the weird beach debris on social media, numerous people offered suggestions ranging from the plausible to the paranormal.
Alas, it would appear that the anomaly is not the remains of a gruesome sea monster nor a bevy of ET eggs.
The consensus opinion seems to be that the 'mystery object' is merely a very large piece of drift wood covered with hundreds of gooseneck barnacles.
Since the giant oddity is presumably still sitting on the beach in New Zealand, confirmation of that conclusion will hopefully come soon.
Should curious visitors venture out to the object and find that it has vanished, then the theory that it's the start of an alien invasion may need to be revisited.
Source: Sydney Morning Herald