A longnose batfish

Bizarre ‘Alien’ Fish With Humanoid Nose, Feet, And Toes Baffles Caribbean Islanders [Photo]

Local fishermen from the Grenadine island of Carriacou, in the Carribean, got a fright recently when they accidentally hauled out of the shallow waters of the port of Windward a weird-looking “alien” sea creature that looks like a cross between a human and a fish.

The approximately one-foot-long “alien fish” was described by astonished local fishermen as having scales like a normal fish but no fins. The creature has a pair of human-like feet with toes and a nearly “perfect human nose” located immediately above its mouth.

It also reportedly has structures that look like a tail and wings.

Local fishermen could only guess that the strange creature uses its pair of human-like feet with toes to walk on the seabed as it looks for food.

According to a spooked islander, when bewildered local fishermen who caught the mystery creature brought it to shore, “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.”

The “fish” was reportedly caught by 74-year-old Hope McLawrence, a veteran local fisherman with decades of experience in the waters off the coast of local islands, including Carriacou and Grenada.

McLawrence described his astonishment after he hauled the scary-looking creature with two humanoid feet and toes out of the shallow waters of Windward harbor.

The “alien” creature, according to the McLawrence, has “two feet with toes and no fin,” a long backbone, and almost “perfect human nose immediately above its mouth.” And weirder still, it has structures that look like wings and tail.

“I have never discovered anything like this before. The wings and tail looks extremely complicated.”

“By the look of the creature it cannot swim but apparently walks on the sea bed,” McLawrence said. “This has shocked me to a considerable extent since I never thought that a creature like this even existed, much less in the harbor of these shallow, friendly waters.”

“This is like a mystery and breathes a chill with this discovery.”

But some have dismissed the notion that the strange fish is an “alien” or “mutant” fish, suggesting instead that it is a specimen of a species of fish called the shortnose batfish native to the area. But others have refuted the claim, saying that local fisherman would have recognized a shortnose batfish immediately.

“It’s so bizarre and alien that it is a native species in Grenada,” a skeptic said. “It is called a shortnosed batfish and it was even featured on a postage stamp in Grenada. Why anyone there thinks this is a new discovery is baffling.”

The shortnose batfish (Ogcocephalus nasutus) is a species of fish with very unusual morphology.

The species is found in West Atlantic waters, around Eastern Florida, and in Caribbean waters. It is a bottom-dwelling fish often found at depths of 200 to 1,000 meters. But they are also often found in shallow coastal waters and estuaries.

People are often spooked by the creature’s pectoral fins adapted for walking on the ocean floor in search of prey, which includes crustaceans, worms, and other fish.

Several species of the genus Ogcocephalus are known and include longnose batfish, spotted batfish, red-lipped batfish, dwarf batfish, oval batfish, and roughback batfish.

A batfish
Roughback batfish: species Ogcocephalus parvusal [Image via Undersearch Research Program/Wikimedia/Public Domain]

They are sometimes confused with frogfish (family Antennariidae), also known as anglerfish in Australia.

But unlike the batfish, anglerfishes are widely distributed in tropical and subtropical waters outside the Mediterranean Sea.

Frogfish are efficient predators that depend on camouflage for hunting and also for protection against predators. The use camouflage to ambush prey. When the prey comes within striking distance, frogfish are able to strike at lightning speed, as fast as in six milliseconds.

[Image via NOAA/Wikimedia/Public Domain]