"It's not a dolphin or a whale, phew! Apparently it's a 20,000 litre drum."
Coogee Surf Life Saving Club were on high alert when they spotted a mysterious item washing up on the shore on Friday.
The unusual sight at one of Sydney's most scenic beaches turned out to be a large water tank, believed to have washed ashore due to the widespread flooding northwest of Sydney and across the NSW mid-north coast this past week.
"We are unsure where it came from although there’s a strong possibility it was washed out to sea during this week’s floods," Randwick City Council wrote on Facebook.
After the green tank was dragged onto the beach and safely cordoned off with orange cones, curious social media users mistook it for contemporary art.
"I though it was an art installation," one person joked on Instagram.
"A lot of locals did too," said a moderator for Instagram account A Pretty Place To Be.
"At first glance, I thought this was Sculptures by the Sea," one person joked on Twitter.
Another local said they had also spotted other debris from the floods at beaches on the Sydney coast.
"We saw another off Bondi this eve," they wrote.
The Council revealed the tank was mistaken for a dead whale at first before washing closer to shore around lunchtime.
"That's a huge thing to get washed to sea!" one local said.
Council lifeguards and outdoor staff removed the tank from the beach with the help of a front end loader but not before taking a few photos with the unusual sight.
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