11:22 GMT26 October 2020
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    It's a skate! No, it's an elephant shark! Or did it come from outer space? Whatever it is, a bizarre creature has washed up on a beach in New Zealand, leaving locals scratching their heads over its origin.

    Hanna Mary, a resident of Canterbury in New Zealand's South Island, has shared a pic of a decomposed fish-like critter with piercing hooks and sharp fangs she found on a beach at a camping ground after a sea storm.

    "My first thought was that it was something alien, but I was more fascinated than anything," Hanna told the New Zealand Herald.

    She enlisted the help of a taxidermist but he was just as baffled with the puzzle of the decaying white skeleton. Then, forensic-minded Facebook users came to the rescue to help her identify the creature. The most popular guess was that it belonged to a deep-sea fish, particularly to a skate or to an elephant shark, an unusual species related to common sharks which lives off the coast of New Zealand.


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