A Russian fisherman's bizarre find has left people stumped with many saying the unusual sea creature resembles a "baby dragon."
Roman Fedortsov, 39, shared a photo of the mysterious animal on his Instagram page, which boasts an array of terrifying creatures he has pulled from the ocean.
Mr Fedortsov was fishing in the Norwegian Sea when he stumbled upon his find, which has left social media guessing what it could be.
With huge cartoon-like eyes, wing-shaped fins and an unusually long tail, many said it looked like a baby dragon, or at least something "mythological. "
"It looks a little like a newly hatched dragon to me," one wrote on the viral post.
"Looks like a baby dragon!" agreed a second.
Others seem spooked by the strange-looking creature which swore some people off the sea.
"Welp, I think I don’t need to swim in the ocean ever again," one exclaimed.
Strange sea creature identified
A handful of commenters shared their thoughts on what the animal could be. Many suggested a chimaera – a cartilaginous fish also known as “ghost sharks”.
Associate Professor Ian Tibbetts from the Queensland University School of Biological Sciences confirmed it is in fact a chimaera, which are relatives of sharks and rays,
"They fly through the water using their large pectoral fins and they generally live in the deep sea, [below] 200m," he told Yahoo News Australia.
Professor Culum Brown from the Department of Biological Sciences at Macquarie University said they're commonly referred to as ratfish.
However, this one is in such bad condition it's hard to say what species, he told Yahoo News Australia, suggesting it could be injured in some way.
Professor Tibbetts agreed to say "it looks slightly dead."
"I imagine it came up in a deepwater trawl on a research vessel," he added.
Although usually found in deepwater, Professor Brown said they can be found in shallower water closer to the North Pole.
"They also have copulatory sex in the twilight zone," Professor Tibbetts added.
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