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What Is This Mysterious Object That Washed Up on a New Zealand Beach?

Probably just very impressive driftwood!

While out on Muriwai beach, not far from Auckland, New Zealand, Melissa Doubleday came across the strange object above. Draped with thick, rope-like material, almost like a wild yak, the object was not immediately identifiable.

Doubleday posted the picture to a local Facebook group: “Just curious if anyone knows what this is?” she asked.

Plenty of ideas came in: could it be an alien time capsule? A Maori canoe? A sea monster’s discarded dreadlocks?

The long tentacles and white shells that decorate the creature/object are actually pretty easily identifiable—they’re gooseneck barnacles. The barnacles grow those long, fleshy necks, which attach to rocks or other solid material in the ocean. They depends on the ocean currents to move them through the water and help them feed.

What’s underneath all those barnacles? Probably just a giant piece of driftwood. But even if it’s not some alien craft, it’s a very impressive piece of driftwood and very impressive work by the barnacles.