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‘Horror movie.’ Mysterious eel-like creature caught off Australia sparks debate

A nightmarish sea creature caught off the coast of New South Wales, Australia, has sparked debate after a professional fisherman admitted he was baffled by it.

The snake-like creature appears to be a type of large eel, with frightened eyes, a cavernous mouth and teeth like crooked nails.

“This is new to me and I have been fishing commercially for 50 years,” Trapman Australia, also known as Jason Moyce, wrote in a Facebook post on January 3.

“I’ve never seen anything like it. It’s not a pike, nor a silver eel. The teeth look like a kind of moray eel. But the face is very brutal. It was about 9 feet long.

Several photos were shared with Trapman Australia's more than 250,000 Facebook followers, including one showing the beast being dragged almost the entire length of the boat.Several photos were shared with Trapman Australia's more than 250,000 Facebook followers, including one showing the beast being dragged almost the entire length of the boat.

Several photos were shared with Trapman Australia’s more than 250,000 Facebook followers, including one showing the beast being dragged almost the entire length of the boat.

Details of who caught it have not been revealed, but it came out of the Pittwater Estuary in southeastern Australia.

Several photos were shared with Trapman Australia’s more than 250,000 Facebook followers, including one showing the beast being dragged almost the entire length of the boat.

It was tan in color, with a muscular body, an angular snout, and a set of extra teeth growing out of the roof of its mouth.

The photos had garnered 1,350 reactions and comments as of January 8, including some who couldn’t help but notice that they looked old and very angry. Others said the creature represented everything they found “terrifying” about the ocean.

“It’s a horror movie,” Elle McFerguson posted on Facebook.

“It doesn’t come by boat, suffice it to say,” wrote Colin Thompson.

“Cut the line and let it go.” It looks evil,” said DarrellnNorma Long.

“Just imagine it happening on your swimsuit!” Jeremy D. Huxol posted.

Many commenters have offered guesses, including conger eel, long-tailed moray eel, and green moray eel. But Trapman Australia said the creature does not match accepted descriptions for any of these eel species.

“Most of the comments weren’t even close,” he told McClatchy News.

Australian waters are home to “more than 60 described species” of moray eels, so even the most experienced fisherman can be forgiven for not knowing them all.

They are largely nocturnal carnivores, measuring between 8 inches and more than 13 feet, and their teeth are often called fangs, reports Fishes of Australia.

“Moray eels, especially large species with long, sharp teeth, are often feared,” the site reports. “Although they are not usually aggressive, they can inflict a nasty bite when attacked.”

There is growing talk of a mega-predator off Australia, but the grim reality could be sobering.

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