Bizarre, Rotting Sea Creature Washes Up on Oregon Coast

A bizarre-looking rotting sea creature was found washed up on the Oregon coast.

Kristine Tillotson posted a picture of the find to Reddit, where she asked for help in identifying the creature. The photo shows an animal with needle-like teeth, lying dead on a stack of rocks. Parts of its body are peeling away, as it appears to be decomposing.

Tillotson told Newsweek that she came across the animal at Mill Beach in Brookings, Oregon.

"I posted the photo to Reddit in a bone collecting group as well as a marine biologist group and they all agreed it is a type of eel called a monkeyface prickleback eel," Tillotson said.

"I was excited and confused when I first saw it. I love walking the beach to see what washes up whether it's animals or shells. I thought it was super interesting because it didn't look like any fish I'd ever seen, it looked like one of those deep-sea creatures."

Sea creature
A picture shows the sea creature photographed by Tillotson. Kristine Tillotson

Monkeyface prickleback eels—also commonly known as monkeyface eels—are native to the Pacific coast of North America.

They can be found in rocky reef habitats from Oregon, to Baja California and Mexico.

Despite their menacing appearance, mature monkeyface eels are actually herbivores and only feed on algae. However, some growing species may feed on some crustaceans. They can reach sizes of up to 18 feet.

The monkeyface eel is so-named due to its unusual appearance. Live ones have a large lump on the top of their head, which can look like a monkey's nose.

Reddit users commented on the photo, speculating as to what it could be.

AtmosphereHot8414 wrote: "I think that is called Aaaaagh!!!"

A few other Reddit users speculated that it might be a wolf eel, another species that lives across the North Pacific.

However, not everyone agreed.

Oosk1 said: "The teeth aren't big enough for a wolf eel and lingcod are known for replacing teeth daily which is why you can see the rows of new teeth with being shrunken."

AugustPierrot commented: "It's a fabled whatthef**kisthat! Very rare, you're lucky to have found one."

Sea creatures regularly wash up on beaches across the globe. It can happen for several reasons, such as deviating tide patterns or the effects of overfishing in the area. More often than not, sea life is already dead when they wash up.

In March, a bizarre alien-like sea creature was found washed up on the Australian coast.

Alex Tan, from Queensland, Australia, was on a morning walk on Maroochydore Beach on the Sunshine Coast when he came across the animal.

At the time, people speculated that it was a possum, washed up by recent floods in the area.