Mysterious alien-like skeleton washes up on coast in New Zealand! (photos)

It looked like the Alien from the movie

A curious-looking thing washed up on the shores of a Canterbury beach in Christchurch, New Zealand this week. Hanna Mary was the first person to spot the beached creature and originally thought that it was a piece of plastic sheeting or a visitor from outer space.

“My first thought was that it was something alien, but I was more fascinated than anything,” Mary told the New Zealand Herald.
With its skeletal physique, razor-sharp fangs, and piercing hooks, it looks like it stepped (or swam) through a time warp from the Jurassic period to the present day.

Malcolm Francis, a fisheries scientist and marine ecologist at the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research in New Zealand, was at hand to offer some answers – and it turned out Mary was on the right track in her initial guesstimate. It was indeed a type of skate. Specifically, a male Dipturus nasutus (aka a New Zealand rough skate), which is commonly found in the waters off New Zealand’s South Island.
“It’s like [a] flat shark, it has a skeleton made out of cartilage,” he said. “They spend much of their time on the bottom.”

According to, New Zealand’s online fishing magazine, they can be found up to 100 meters (330 feet) off the coast and are frequently picked up by fishermen, who sell their wings to local fishmongers and supermarkets. They tend to be brown and have an off-white underside and grow to lengths of around 70 centimetres.

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