A bizarre, alien-like sea creature that glowed in a variety of colors showed up Tuesday night on the surface of Bristol harbor in the U.K., leaving eyewitnesses and scientists baffled as what it could be.
People in Bristol, located 116 miles west of London, pulled out iPhones and began taking photos and video as they speculated on the mysterious sighting that looked like some sort of jellyfish or giant squid.
The British media didn't know what to make of it, either, wondering whether it might be an elaborate prank.
"'Alien' life form spotted in Bristol harbour: a close encounter or is something fishy going on?" read the headline in the London Evening Standard.
"Mysterious creature spotted in Bristol harbour: Experts left baffled by a bizarre 'GLOWING JELLYFISH'—but is it a hoax?" read the headline in the UK MailOnline.
John Tombe captured this video. See what you think:
Shannon Medway was evidently in a different location and got compelling video of the creature swimming away and changing colors. "Now that's proper strange," he says. His video adds even more intrigue. Take a look at it here, but be forewarned of the title that some might find offensive.
If it's a hoax, it's a pretty good one.
The London Evening Standard asked whether this footage "of a strange glowing creature" is "proof that the planet is slowly being taken over by aliens?"
Then it provided a more serious possibility, saying marine biologists believe the squid-like animal could be a marine salp, which had drifted off course because of the weather.
Another suggestion was a bioluminescent hydrozoan jellyfish, a.k.a. a crystal jelly. They are known to produce flashes of blue light but aren't often seen in Britain. The Evening Standard said a similar species was spotted off the coast of Scotland in 2009 and is on display at the Macduff Marine Aquarium.
Dr. Steve Simpson of the School of Biological Sciences at Bristol University told the MailOnline, "It's very intriguing—I don't really know what to make of it.
"There is a possibility that it is a special type of jellyfish or a marine salp. It's very unusual and I haven't really seen anything like it before though.
"It is entirely possible that it is a marine creature which has been brought into the harbor because of the storms or maybe it was trying to shelter from the stormy seas…
"This is either a very interesting animal or someone's very cool interpretation of a marine creature."
Hopefully, one day we'll find out.
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