Mystery Surrounding New Zealand's Deep Sea "Muriwai Monster" Is Finally Solved

By on

CCSS NAS-4 Word Search
Photo Credit: Melissa Doubleday via Facebook

The “Muriwai Monster,” a twitching black mass that washed up on Muriwai Beach, 25 miles northwest of Auckland, New Zealand, has taken the world by storm since its discovery about a week ago. Melissa Doubleday, who stumbled upon it while driving by, initially suspected it to be a whale carcass. However, when she shared images of the mysterious “creature,” which was covered in seaweed and wiggling black tendrils with white shells, on social media people around the world began speculating it was a sea monster, a “beach Christmas tree,” or even an alien time travel capsule.

But it turns out that the “Muriwai Monster” is not some fantastical beast straight out of a Harry Potter book. According to experts at the New Zealand Marine Sciences Society, it is merely a large piece of driftwood overrun by a species of gooseneck barnacles called Lepas anatifera.

Photo Credit: Melissa Doubleday via Facebook

While gooseneck barnacles are a type of shellfish, they are the only sessile crustaceans in the world. This means they behave like oysters and produce a cement-like substance that glues them to submerged objects, including ship hulls, piers, and even sea turtles, for their entire life. The crustaceans, considered a delicacy in Spain and Portugal, survive by filtering food particles from the surrounding water through their long, black feeding tentacles. Called peduncles, they can grow as long as 31 inches, which explains the strange, worm-like appearance observed by Doubleday when she first discovered the black mass.

Unfortunately, visitors hoping to witness the twitching beast in real life are out of luck given that the barnacles have now died. All that is left of the “Muriwai Monster” is a putrid smelling “carcass” that will have to be disposed of soon, if locals hope to go anywhere close to the beach.

Photo Credit: Melissa Doubleday via Facebook

This is not the first strange thing to wash ashore in New Zealand in recent times. A 7.8 magnitude earthquake that struck the island nation this November lifted the seabed by two meters, dramatically altering the landscape and stranding lobsters, abalone, barnacles, seaweed, and other sea life.

Resources: Facebook, zmescience.com,thesun.co.uk, dailymail.co.uk

Generate citations in MLA, APA & Chicago formats for this article.

VocabularyPlay Game

barnaclescarcassdisposeddriftwoodfantasticalpedunclesputridsessilespeculatingstrandingsubmergedtendrilstentaclestwitching
Name:
Date:

Reading Comprehension (7 questions)

  1. What did Melissa Doubleday discover on Muriwai Beach a week ago?
  2. What did she initially believe it to be?
Name:
Date:

Critical Thinking Challenge

Just looking at the picture what would you have guessed...

Name:
Date:

Vocabulary in Context

This means they behave like oysters and produce a cement-like substance that glues them to submerged objects, including ship hulls, piers, and even sea turtles, for their entire life.

In...

474 Comments
to use your custom avatar.
  • cutecat6
    cutecat6Sunday, December 17, 2017 at 2:23 pm
    It looks so disgusting when you look it close up!!!!! Don't you agree?! Those blue things have LEGS!!!!! And those black things look like giant WORMS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Like this comment and follow me if you agree with me and I will follow YOU.
    • hi i know Sunday, December 10, 2017 at 1:43 pm
      i have to read this because i didn't have a book to read ive seen other write this
      • Kays GamingMonday, November 27, 2017 at 12:48 pm
        i have to read this because i didnt have a book to read
        • ninja_tube
          ninja_tubeMonday, November 20, 2017 at 8:14 am
          It looks like a whale covered in parasites
          • ravenFriday, November 17, 2017 at 12:10 pm
            scary
            • daisy_le
              daisy_leFriday, October 20, 2017 at 10:20 am
              That is really cool
              • xxwitherboyxx
                xxwitherboyxxTuesday, October 3, 2017 at 9:52 am
                it looks like an ancient rock covered with things.
                • VvvvvvvvvvvvFriday, July 28, 2017 at 9:51 am
                  Looks like a whale
                  • batkid345
                    batkid345Wednesday, July 26, 2017 at 6:19 pm
                    Creep 👀 Looks like a sea dragon 🐉 🐲
                    • darkdragon
                      darkdragonTuesday, November 7, 2017 at 11:42 am
                      I love dragons
                    • rangi456
                      rangi456Tuesday, July 4, 2017 at 2:37 pm
                      Wow! I didn't know about the 'muriwai monster'. When I saw the picture I thought it was a mountain covered in barnacles and seaweed. I got really fascinated about this large piece of driftwood.

                      Recent Comments

                      Cool wrote:

                      Smart idea 💡
                      Guess What? Sheep Can Recognize ...

                      hi wrote:

                      i want to try the tradicans
                      Fun Holiday Traditions You May B...

                      Our Apps and Plugins

                      ALA