Woman finds disturbing-looking creature on Cape beach

2014-05-02 11:19
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Cape Town -  “Can someone please tell me what the hell this is? We picked it up on the beach at De Kelder. It’s the real thing!!” reads Leandra Visser’s caption on Facebook after posting an image of a fish with a mouth, full of huge teeth, that appears too big for its body.

Die Burger reports Visser, a resident from Worcester, posted the image during her recent holiday break at The Cellars in Cape Town. Visser denied the image was a joke and Die Burger went as far as having it verified before sending it to experts at the South African Institute for Aquatic Biodiversity (SAIAB) in Grahamstown. 

According to Die Burger, Alan Whitfield, chief scientist at the SAIAB says just because it was picked up on a beach does not mean it is a fish, drawing attention to the apparent lack of fins in the image.

Theories vary, with some speculating it could be a mutated species of sorts. Since the head and jaws seem out of proportion with the body, some think it could be made up of a number of different creatures – as if a puffer fish had eaten a mussel.   

Another expert, Professor Charles Griffiths of the University of Cape Town 's department of biological science says it could be a Klipsuier (Chorisochismus dentex) that has dried out – changing the look dramatically. Also referred to as the Rocksucker, this is the only known member of its genus found along the coast of South Africa and Namibia. Klipsuiers are said to reach about 30 centimetres in length and have large teeth in order to feed on mussels and limpets. 

(Leandra Visser, Facebook)

But experts say the best solution to determine what it is would have been to genetically analyse the specimen. Visser, unfortunately did not hold on to her strange find.  

What do you think it is, tell us in the comments below? Or come join our Travel community on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, hang out with us on Google+, snap away on Instagram and share your inspiration on Pinterest

Read more on:    cape town  |  travel south africa  |  travel and leisure


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