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A rare eel described as ‘the scariest creature on earth’ has been spotted lurking in a lake in China.
The purple goby eel, noted for its resemblance to the terrifying ‘Chestburster’ creature from the Alien films due to its black eyes, chomping teeth and angry-looking facial expression, was recently spotted by a Chinese fisherman and caught on camera.
But thankfully, unlike its cinematic counterpart the purple goby eel only grows to around 30cm long instead of 6ft and tends to feed on small fish and crustaceans rather than hapless humans and unwitting space marines.
The freaky fish was found in Taihu Lake in Yixing, eastern China’s Jiangsu province.
Normally spotted in coastal waters and rivers, it is unusual to find the species so far away from its natural habitat.
The purple goby eel is amphidromous, which means it regularly migrates between the sea and freshwater environments, and can survive out of water for long periods of time by taking air into its bronchial chambers and swimming in mud.
Fish identification expert Morgan Grant explained the creature belongs to a group called Eelgobies or Wormgobies.
"These fish are found in fresh and brackish estuaries, and coastal marine waters in the western Pacific and Indian Oceans, and there are a number of species present in Australia," Grant wrote.
"They have poorly-developed eyes, often covered by skin, because they live in turbid water and rely on touch rather than sight to catch their prey.
"That's why they also have such ferocious teeth, because when they find lunch, they don't want to let it go!"
But while sightings of the eel tend to be exceedingly rare, another one was recently spotted by Australian angler Tee Hockin who fished one out of the water and marvelled at its bizarre and frightening appearance.
Speaking to ABC News, Hockin said: "Honestly the first thing I thought about was the Alien movie with Sigourney Weaver and that thing that comes out of people's stomach, that's exactly what I thought, and that's what they describe it as when you look it up on the internet."
"It's like purpley-brown, it had a really weird head, but the body was like an eel and it didn't even move or wriggle; it was like stunned, like stealth mode."
Hockin said when she initially caught the fish – which was only around 15 centimetres long – they thought it was a snag and had to stop the boat to get it.
"It's got this little suction cap under its gut, like it was stuck, it was proper stuck on the bottom, so we had to stop the boat and reverse back to go get it," she said.
To get it off the lure and release it back into the water, they had to wrangle the fish using pliers.
"It was the only way to get it off… you couldn't shake it, you couldn't anything, it was proper like, just jagged," she said.
"You'd probably s*** your pants if it was bigger.”
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