A couple of Bondi locals enjoying a run along the beach were stunned to find a bizarre creature caught up in seaweed on the shore, shocked and confused by the 'alien-looking' animal.
Drew Lambert was with a friend at Sydney's Bondi Beach on Tuesday morning when they noticed the creature in amongst some washed-up debris, describing it as having "human like lips" and being extremely bloated.
"[I thought] oh my god, that's weird," he told Yahoo News Australia. "I just looked at it and say What the hell does this fish have human lips on it?
"It looked like it was puckering up for a kiss."
Mr Lambert said he wasn't sure what he was looking at, thinking it was maybe a shark.
"It definitely had a tail," he recalled.
"I thought maybe it was a weird form of shark [but] the mouth is the underside. And it's got grey leather-like skin like a shark. But it doesn't have that dorsal fin at the top like a shark so I'm really confused."
Locals unsure about what the creature is
Mr Lambert posted a photo and video of the animal to a local Bondi Facebook group, hoping to find out what they had stumbled across.
Most users seemed to think the animal was a stingray, saying the tail most likely coiled after it died and internal organs swelled.
"It’s an Australian numbfish they produce electricity when touched," one user commented with others agreeing it was some sort of ray.
"It’s Bondi — even the rays Botox," one Facebook user joked.
Laetitia Hannan — a supervisor at Sea Life Sydney Aquarium — identified the creature as a numb ray or coffin ray, a type of elasmobranch.
She told Yahoo News Australia the species is not endangered regionally, being considered as least concern by the IUCN red list.
Ms Hannan also said the ray's boated appearance was due to the decomposition process, saying numb rays are usually full of gas and bloated.
She also said numb rays are also notorious for having eyes bigger than their stomachs so it's possible the animal may have eaten something way too big for itself which might be contributing to the enlarged size.
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