By Andy Smith
on February 27, 2013
Sometimes, catching the biggest fish is not what you want, after all.
An unsuspecting fishing trip in New Jersey took a strange turn as an area man with a bow and arrow snatched a creature many claim to have never seen. Some say its an enlarged sea lamprey, but others aren’t so sure.
“This thing is at least 20 feet long,” says marine biologist Mark Baxter, of the University of Maine. “And the amount of teeth, blood and reported aggression of the thing suggests a newer species — and a much more dangerous one. If it’s a lamprey, it’s nothing like ones we’ve ever seen.”
The photo was posted on Reddit this week and quickly became a viral sensation. Many initially concluded that this creature was a lamprey, due to its shape and facial characteristics. Lampreys are known to only grow to a couple feet in length, and the eel-like parasites are most commonly cited for their tendency to dine on fellow fish blood.
While scientists analyze the creature, the biggest battle for experts will be to investigate whether the Jersey waters are infested with even more monsters of this size. Swimmers and fishermen in the area where the beast was found are encouraged to cease any further activity until scientists and wildlife officials are finished with their investigation.
“If this is a lamprey, then it’ll just as easily seek human blood as it would fish blood,” Baxter said. “Anything it sees in the water will be thought of just another fish. So for now, let’s all just find some different hobbies until the search is over.”
Weekly World News will continue to follow this story.