The coasts of New Zealand are home to a wide array of flora and fauna, but recently, something washed ashore that had local residents scratching their head: a mystery creature unlike any of the region's indigenous species.
Recently, Auckland resident Melissa Doubleday found something strange washed on the shores of the Muriwai Beach. The massive, strange object was quickly dubbed the "Muriwai Monster" and caused quite a bit of mystery in the region.
"[I] drove past and [was] like what the? It looks like worms with shells I’ve never seen before with these funny creatures that just [came] out. I actually thought it was a washed up whale as I approached it, so weird," said Doubleday.
The mystery object drew crowds of locals to the area. Armed with cameras, the crowds tried to snap photos as they caught a glimpse of the Muriwai Monster. According to local resident Rani Timoti, the beach has never seen anything like it. "This is the biggest one I've seen. It's got a putrid smell when you're down wind and when you look closely, it looks like wiggling worms,"said Timoti.
Doubleday took to Facebook to solve the mystery. She posted several photos of the Muriwai Monster on a the Muriwai and Waimauku Area Community Group Facebook page in order to crowdsource ideas as to what the mystery mass might be. "Just curious to know if anyone knows what this is??! Washed up on Muriwai Beach," Doubleday posted along with her photos.
Doubleday received some weird responses. Suggestions ranged from logical, such as "a washed up whale," to the highly implausible, such as "an alien pod time capsule." Other guesses included, "a sea monster with dreadlocks," a "beach Christmas tree," and a "Maori canoe."
Barnacle geese were once thought to come from these barnacles, as no one had seen these geese lay eggs. Today, we know better, but the geese still retain a moniker that pays homage to what was once believed to be their origin.
New Zealand has experienced several earthquakes recently, such as a 7.8 earthquake that hit New Zealand's South Island in November, which lifted the seabed nearly six-and-a-half feet, causing it to be pushed above the ocean's surface. Because of the recent earthquake activity, many objects have washed ashore in New Zealand, and the Muriwai Monster could have appeared because of this.