There's no need to call Mulder and Scully, this "mutant sea creature with a nose, feet, tail and WINGS" [shouty caps in the original] is no alien. 


What you're looking at is a being very much of this world, most likely a member of the family Ogcocephalidae: the batfishes (sometimes marvellously referred to as seabats!).

With their strange compressed shape and odd habit of "walking" on the sea floor using their arm-like fins, the fish certainly look unusual – but they're pretty common undersea residents, found in most tropical and subtropical oceans and seas around the globe. 

Reports claim this particular find caused quite the stir when it was brought ashore by a fisherman on the tiny island of Carriacou in the Caribbean. "Everyone crowded round to look – nobody had ever seen anything like it. Quite a few people were pretty scared and thought it looked like something out of a sci-fi horror film," one onlooker reportedly commented.

Alien creatures they are not, but this fish family still has plenty of the weird and wonderful to deliver.

They may not look particularly agile, for example, but batfish are actually skilled ambush hunters – fish, crustaceans and marine worms are all on the menu. "They are very well camouflaged in the sand, waiting for unsuspecting prey to swim within striking distance," explains the team at South Africa's Two Oceans Aquarium.

And let's not forget that the family is also where we find our favourite pout in the entire ocean realm. Behold, the red-lipped batfish:  

Red Lipped Batfish 2016 02 02
Source: PBS/Youtube

While the Caribbean find is difficult to identify precisely from the single blurry photograph that's been doing the rounds, the Two Oceans team thinks the specimen might belong to the genus Malthopsis 

And this isn't the only fishy discovery that has sparked alien-inspired headlines of late. Just last month, this frogfish displaying a rare colour morph was spotted "walking" along the sea floor in New Zealand. 


Top header image: Zruda, Flickr