Fisherman Baffles Scientists With Strange Creature


Fighting The Unknown

He felt his heart race as he pulled on his fishing pole and heaved it into his boat. But when he took a closer look he jumped back in terror. What did he catch?

His friend driving the boat noticed that he was in trouble. What was the creature? And more importantly what had it done to his friend’s leg?

Matt Tanner

Facebook – James Callender

Matt Tanner loved fishing. He felt at home on the water with his best friends. Coney Island was his home, he’d grown up there and never wanted to leave. He was happy.

He worked in an office so he loved every opportunity to be outside. His favorite place to be was on the ocean’s surface. But he had no idea that his next fishing trip would be unlike any other.

Beautiful Morning


Matt got ready for an adventurous Saturday. He ate breakfast and arranged to meet up at the harbor with his friend Dave. He was keen to have a peaceful day on the water.

They got into Matt’s boat and left the harbor in Coney Island to explore the open sea. It was a crisp summer day and the breeze was in their hair. What could have made this day any better?


YouTube/Ty Pigpatrol

Dave and Matt were enjoying a cold drink on the open ocean. They would occasionally say something but focused on the peace and quiet. They loved fishing together every week during the summer months.

Then just as he lifted the drink to his lips his fishing pole tugged downwards. He excitedly grabbed his pole and started the struggle. He eventually lifted the catch onto the vessel, but it wasn’t what he expected.

Catch Of The Day

Daily Mail

Matt finally got it inside the boat. Excited to look at what he had caught, he peered down at it. That’s when he yelped and jumped back in a panic. This was no normal catch.

Matt asked Dave what it was but neither man had seen anything like it. It looked weird and alien.

Horror And Disgust

Daily Mail

Dave looked at it and said, “That looks terrible! I have never seen that before! What is it?”

It looked like some kind of squid or octopus. It had three tentacles and gills. Where had this alien creature come from? Matt knew he had to act quickly.

Capturing The Creature


He decided to take a video of the creature and post it to social media. Hopefully someone there could answer his questions.

He was holding up the container with the creature getting a good angle when he suddenly felt a bit whoozy. Then he looked down at his leg and saw something.

Medical Emergency

ChiroCare of Florida

Matt couldn’t believe it, his leg was red and had a dark spot presumably where the creature had bitten him. But he had no idea what it was, he could have been in serious trouble.

Dave could tell his friend was in trouble and whipped the boat towards the shore. It would take a second to get back but he had to hurry. Matt needed medical attention quickly.

Getting Help


Matt was sent home with an allergy shot. The doctor merely asked him to rest for the weekend and he’d be fine.

But later that same day he would hear his doorbell ring. The FBI would be waiting on his porch. Matt could never have expected to see them.

Special Investigation

They wanted to know about the creature he posted online. Matt completely forgot about his post after his medical emergency – which had now gone completely viral.

Numerous people called the FBI to report the alien creature. The FBI asked to see more photos and gather more information before asking for the specimen itself. Matt began to realize the seriousness of his find.

What Was It?

Facebook – James Callender

Matt raced toward his phone and called Dave who had taken care of the boat and creature after they left the doctors office. He asked Dave to bring the creature to him but there was a problem.

Dave released it back into the wild with fears that it was too dangerous and poisonous to keep around after what happened to Matt. The FBI left with as much information as Matt could give after telling Matt what they thought he actually caught.

Clearnose Skate

Maryland Biodiversity Project

Although it was difficult to make out what the creature was from Matt’s post online, the other photos as well as Matt’s description and leg injury left the FBI to believe he caught a Clearnose Skate.

A fish that is very rare for the area. In fact, it was the first time the community had seen one being caught in their waters. But when Matt read the comments on his post, other people had different ideas about what it was.



A lot of people online suspected that it was an extraterrestrial being that was never seen before. Others jokingly remarked it was Dart from Stranger Things.

But as Matt read through the comments, he realized that only 2 people had identified the creature for what it actually was. At least he knew he and Dave weren’t the only ones who had never seen one before. But what about his leg? Was it dangerous?

Handle With Care

The Clearnose Skate gets its name from the transparent area of skin on either side of its pointed ‘nose’. And although Clearnose Skates may look dangerous and creepy, they don’t possess venomous barbs like stingrays – but they do have sharp thorns on the tops of their tails.

They use their tails to strike others when they feel threatened which is exactly what must have happened Matt. But unfortunately, Matt was allergic to them.

Spreading Knowledge

Facebook – James Callender

With his newfound knowledge of the species. Matt decided to update his post and let the online community know what they were looking at. He also let them know how loud their whispers were that the FBI showed up on his doorstep!

His information was welcomed but also came as a surprise to locals of the area.

Wildlife Recovery

YouTube/Ultimate Fishing Site

The waters off Coney Island are no stranger to aquatic life. The area has a huge diversity of wildlife that ranges from crabs and fish to sharks and whales and all the inbetween.

It’s good to know that the ocean’s wildlife seems to continue to grow, even though the threat of global warming is looming over the horizon. But thanks to the state’s continued effort to decrease ocean pollution, these species continue to reclaim the area.