This Otherworldly Frogfish Was Found ‘Walking’ On The Ocean Floor

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New Zealand is famous for The Lord of The Rings movies being filmed on its hills, but it turns out that the sea surrounding it is just as otherworldly.

The Museum of New Zealand posted pictures taken by Claudia Howse, Glenys Howse, and James Beuvink on a fishing trip of what appears to be a black creature — half fish and half frog — that was caught on North Island. The museum insists that it is indeed a frogfish (which is actually just a fish), but others still aren’t sure.

This creature surfaced on New Zealand’s North Island a few days ago, and nobody is sure what to make of it.

Seeing it from the side is even more baffling, as the amphibious-looking fish also seems to take on the shape of a bird.

The Museum of New Zealand speculates that it is a frogfish, which is a type of anglerfish.

The frogfish also has the fastest bite of any vertebrate, chomping down on its food at the speed of a .22 rifle bullet. Now that sounds pretty alien to me!

The museum is pretty sure that it’s a frogfish, but officials say that they won’t know for sure until they can “examine it closely.” Personally, I’m fine just examining that creepy thing in a picture on a Facebook page while living an ocean away.

Update: The Museum of New Zealand has confirmed that the creature is indeed a rare black striped frogfish, and it has been preserved for the purposes of science.

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