The large phenomenon was found on Muriwai Beach in Auckland by local resident Melissa Doubleday.
She posted photos of the strange barnacle covered object on the Muriwai & Waimauku Area Community Group Facebook page asking: “Just curious to know if anyone knows what this is??! Washed up on Muriwai Beach.”
“I actually thought it was a washed up whale as I approached it, so weird,” Doubleday told stuff.co.nz.
The post was inundated with a variety of wild suggestions which ranged from a Maori canoe to a Rastafarian whale to the Predator from the eponymous Arnold Schwarzenegger film.
“Alien Pod time capsule?” one person suggested.
Many commentators claimed it was a piece of driftwood covered in gooseneck barnacles.
That suggestion holds water as these filter-feeding crustaceans are often found in large numbers attached to driftwood. They also use their flexible stalks to attach to other hard objects such as the hulls of ships, piers or rocks.
The perplexing find has been dubbed the ‘Muriwai monster’.