Last month’s powerful earthquake in New Zealand caused a multitude of bizarre occurrences and phenomena. Entire new valleys and gorges were carved by the tremor, and the earthquake was even powerful enough to lift the entire sea floor two meters, altering the island nation’s coastline forever and creating new land masses. As with many recent earthquakes, the ground had hardly stopped shaking before speculation began swirling that some sinister or mysterious force was behind the seismic activity.
Now, weeks after the earthquake, strange events continue to occur in New Zealand. Most recently, a bizarre, freakish-looking object washed ashore on Muriwai Beach near Auckland which has puzzled residents and scientists alike. Local residents posted images of the object to a community Facebook group, which has since dubbed the object the “Muriwai Monster.”
Muriwai resident Rani Timoti said the reeking, barnacle-covered mass was unlike anything she’s seen in all her years combing the beach:
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.
The entire surface of the hulking mass is covered in what appears to be deadlocks, but are actually a type of filter-feeding crustacean known as gooseneck barnacles. Possible explanations for the object offered on the Facebook group ranged from a rotted whale carcass, a “sea monster with dreadlocks,” a “beach Christmas tree” (whatever that is), a Maori canoe and even an “alien pod time capsule.”
However, many sources have speculated that the most plausible explanation is that the Muriwai Monster is merely a mass of driftwood shaken loose from the sea floor by last month’s earthquake. Whatever the Muriwai Monster is, the bizarre beached behemoth is already attracting scores of visitors hoping to see the “monster” up close. Now that the Lord of the Rings movies have wrapped, they’ve gotta make up that tourism revenue somehow.