Australia has developed a reputation as the place to go to find all of the world’s weirdest and wildest creatures. While we are familiar with the most famous critters of the outback—kangaroos, crocodiles, snakes, and koalas—one group of anglers stumbled across a bizarre specimen so strange you might easily mistake it for an alien.
Outback Boat Hire posted a pair of photos to their Facebook account that look like something straight out of the movie “Alien,” leaving the internet to work its magic with the tiny but bizarre swimmer.
“Has anyone caught one of these before?” they quipped. Angler Tee Hokin had the honor of reeling in the specimen, which measured about 15 centimeters long, while out on the Mary River with a group one day.
She explained that it immediately looked like she’d stumbled across one of the horrifying creatures from the 1979 Sigourney Weaver flick. And sure enough, she learned in short order that she wasn’t the only person who felt that way.
“Honestly the first thing I thought about was the Alien movie with Sigourney Weaver and that thing that comes out of people’s stomach, that’s exactly what I thought, and that’s what they describe it as when you look it up on the internet,” she explained via ABC News.
The actual name of the creature is a “worm goby,” a mud-dwelling fish that’s generally considered harmless to humans. Armed with the knowledge that they can grow up to 50 centimeters in length, though, and have some pretty horrifying teeth, the internet had a bit of fun with the wild catch.
“Sigourney Weaver’s love child,” one person commented, referencing the star of the original Alien film. “Holy crap looks like an extra on alien!!” another wrote, while yet another person simply referred to it as a “nope fish” and left it at that.
Hokin and her pals had some trouble getting the fish detached from the bottom of the boat thanks to the suction and teeth it possesses to help it catch prey. To add to the horror, Hokin explained that the creature didn’t even move; she explained that it was “purpley-brown, it had a really weird head, but the body was like an eel and it didn’t even move or wriggle; it was like stunned, like stealth mode.”
As the fish is fairly uncommon even in its native country of Australia, it isn’t terribly likely you’ll ever stumble across one of these. But if you do, that’s certainly the kind of fish you can’t help but snap a picture of!