In Depth

Taiwanese fisherman catches 'alien-like' creature – video

Sea-dwelling creature becomes internet sensation after fisherman asks for help in identifying his catch

Internet users have been left bewildered – and a little nauseated – by an "alien-like" sea creature discovered in Taiwan.

It is the "weirdest, slimiest creature you've ever seen" says Stuff, while Bustle warns that it is sure to "give you nightmares for the rest of the week".

It sounds like the latest offering from Hollywood, but it is actually the catch of the day from Penghu, Taiwan.

Fisherman Wei Cheng Jian reeled in the specimen and then posted a video of it, sparking debate about its identity.

The sea-dweller can be seen sliding along the floor with its luminous green body leaving a trail of slime in its wake. About halfway through the video a long pink tongue-like "proboscis" winds its way in front of its body.

"It has not been determined what it is exactly that Wei caught, but many Facebook users reckon the alien-like creature looks like a ribbon worm," reports RT.

The ribbon worm is a type of nemertea, a group of carnivorous invertebrates that live on the sea floor and use their tongue-like proboscis to locate and attack their prey before swallowing their enemies whole.

While the creature in the video is only 20cm long, a species of ribbon worm that washed ashore in St Andrews, Scotland was measured at more than 180ft long – making it the longest animal ever recorded by the Guinness World Records.

But some people on YouTube had others suggestions as to what the green creature in Taiwan might be.

"We spend billions of dollars exploring space and looking for aliens," wrote one commenter. "Jokes on us because they're already here..."  Another suggested the creature was "made by the devil".

Wei Cheng Jian's [5]Facebook post has been shared over 5,000 times.

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