A mysterious sea creature covered in hundreds of moving tentacles has baffled locals after it washed up on a local beach.
The mystery marine species – which resembles a huge piece of seaweed – washed up on the shore in Kien Giang province, in southern Vietnam, on July 29.
A local tour guide scooped it up and placed it on a green plastic table inside a nearby home where residents gathered to look.
Footage shows the dark brown creature twisting and turning. It has a star-shaped body in the middle with several branches spiralling out from the centre.
There are dozens of smaller tentacles on each branch, all moving around in different directions.
”I don’t know whether it’s an animal, vegetation or something else,” tour guide Du Nam Du, who collected the creature from the shore, said.
The mystery creature was later released back into the ocean – with locals and social media users still confused by what it was.
”It’s a monster. One day it will come back out of the ocean. It’ll be 10 times bigger,” Kim Tho said.
”I don’t know what it is but it’s scary. It’s actually gross and I don’t want to be near it,” Linh Nguyen added.
Dr Mike Van Keulen, a Marine Biology expert from Murdoch University told Yahoo7 News he believed the creature was part of the brittle star group, which are closely related to starfish.
He said they are believed to have a world-wide distribution but are usually located in deeper waters.