A fisherman in Australia’s Top End was perplexed after pulling in a purple alien-looking monster with sharp jaws while casting a line. Last week, two photos of a creepy-looking fish hooked at Shady Camp in the Northern Territory emerged on the Outback Boat Hire Facebook page.
“Has anyone captured one of these before?” the page’s administrator inquired, posting photos of the ugly purple-finned marine monster with scaly skin. Another man stated his companion hooked something similar at the same spot, so it looks the bizarre capture wasn’t a one-off.
“I spun out when I saw those pictures, it’s the strangest looking beast!” one woman exclaimed. While the strange species perplexed many on social media, fish identification specialist Morgan Grant claimed it wasn’t an extraterrestrial, but rather “one of Australia’s least-well-known types of fish.”
In response to the Facebook post, the author of Grant’s Guide to Fishes believes the critter was a genus of “gobies” belonging to either the Eelgobies or Wormgobies fish species group. Due to its coloration and body form, he speculated that it may also be a member of the genus Taenioides, and potentially the Purple Eelgoby.
“These fish are found in fresh and brackish estuaries, as well as coastal marine areas in the western Pacific and Indian Oceans, and a number of species are present in Australia,” Mr Grant explained. He also offered a rational reason for why it had such threatening teeth.
“Because they reside in muddy water and rely on touch rather than sight to grab their food,” Mr Grant wrote. “That’s why they have such fierce teeth; when they locate a meal, they don’t want to waste it!” The finding comes just days after it was revealed that a slew of unknown new fish species had been discovered in the depths of Australia’s eastern abyss.