Stumbling upon a mysterious object with a vague, alien appearance doesn’t happen everyday. You can imagine the shock beachgoers felt when they saw this weird thing.

People visiting Muriwai Beach, a coastal community in New Zealand’s Auckland Region were amazed to see a mysterious object resembling an alien capsule covered in strange dendrites.

The incident caused an awful lot of confusion on social media, with both concerned locals and the authorities investigating what object’s nature and origins. As always, opinions are divided and include a variety of scenarios and explanations.

Witnesses invoke the mysterious object’s appearance as proof it could be the badly-decomposed body of a sea monster. This description quickly earned its name as the Muriwai Monster.

The mysterious thing’s entire body is covered in what look like tentacles or a mass of sea creatures so the term ‘monster’ seems fitting.

Others believe the object could be an alien pod or some kind of time travel capsule. Skeptics suspect the monster is actually an art installation. It wouldn’t be the first time one such piece of art caused confusion and anxiety but up until now, no one has claimed it as his own.

Currently, the area is seeing an increase in visitors, undoubtedly attracted by the oddity. Locals say they’ve never seen anything like it before.

mysterious object muriwai monster

This is the biggest one I’ve seen. It’s got a putrid smell when you’re downwind and when you look closely it looks like wiggling worms,” one resident told local press.

Sensing the unrest, New Zealand’s Marine Sciences Society intervened with a more down-to-earth explanation: the Muriwai Monster is actually a piece of driftwood covered in gooseneck barnacles. These filter-feeding crustaceans attach themselves to the surface of rocks and flotsam and even on dry land, their appearance resembles tentacles.

Perhaps the recent earthquake that hit New Zealand dislodged the mass of wood from its resting place and the water later deposited it on Muriwai beach.

While this occurrence could be explained as a natural phenomenon, the reality remains that people are always half-expecting to witness an alien capsule opening right before their eyes. Should we blame Hollywood or is this the result of a collective awakening taking place? Are people ready to meet aliens?