The lakes of Gaston County, North Carolina, have been invaded by a fluorescent-looking "mutant creature," if you believe video that appeared last week on YouTube.
It was posted by a conspiracy theorist channel known for hosting videos of alleged aliens, Bigfoot and "sky serpents."
Help us deliver journalism that makes a difference in our community.
Our journalism takes a lot of time, effort, and hard work to produce. If you read and enjoy our journalism, please consider subscribing today.
The YouTube Channel Disclose Screen says it was filmed April 10 in a 3.5-acre Gaston County lake by someone named Paula Terrell, who is asking for help identifying the fish. "It’s something they’ve never seen before," says a voice over in the video.
Other media outlets have since picked up on the video, including the Daily Star of the United Kingdom and LiveTechInfo.com, all of which are questioning what the creature might be, if not a fish.
"Bizarre 4ft mutant creature spotted in North Carolina lake leaves witnesses baffled," says the headline in the Daily Star.
The footage shows the bluish-colored thing floating close to the surface of water for several minutes, which some see as the first red flag.
Commenters on the internet have guessed it might be anything from a type of a koi to a remote control toy submarine with fake skin wrapped around it. One person suggests it was a dead peacock.
"That is sooo weird. At first it looked like a plastic bag, but when you zoomed in I could see it was a strange looking creature. Do you think someone may have had it in a tank and it survived being flushed," asked YouTube commenter Joanne B.
"Okay, while the folks here in Gaston County haven’t put any rockets into orbit lately, we ARE advanced enough that we don’t flush our toilets into local waterways, ponds, lakes or rivers," responded Jon Patterson, presumably a Gaston County resident. "Like some of the other YouTubers, I also think it is some variety of carp, but how it ended up that color is beyond me. "
"Seen a lotta fake (stuff) on YouTube, but dam this deserves an award," posted Jim Glenn.
It’s not be the first "mutant fish" reported in the Carolinas.
In June, photos of a grotesquely deformed fish posted on Facebook prompted an investigation by the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, which wanted to know what lake the fish came from and what was wrong with it.
Department officials reposted the photo on their Twitter page in response to growing questions from the public. It is believed the fish came from Lake Cherokee in Cherokee County, a fishing spot that is open to the public and widely used.
State biologists have yet to explain the fish’s appearance, but suspected it might be suffering from tumors.
Folklore also has it that a giant creature lives in the waters of Lake Norman, north of Charlotte. It’s called Normie and is rumored to resemble the Loch Ness monster.
Mark Price: 704-358-5245, @markprice_obs