A woman hopes a blob-like sea creature which washed up on a sandy beach could bank her a small fortune.
The dark-coloured alien-like creature could be a rare phenomenon and if verified may be worth a lot of money.
The woman shared a photo of the strange animal which washed up at Hervey Bay beach in Queensland, Australia, and took to social media to ask if people thought it was a toxic stonefish.
To her surprise most disagreed and said the jelly-like creation was more likely to be an ambergris – and if it’s true she could be quids in.
Ambergris, otherwise known as intestinal slurry or “floating gold”, is ejected by sperm whales, eventually hardens in the water and is highly prized by the beauty industry.
It is sought after by perfume companies and worth about £11 per gram.
The woman who posted about the rare discovery was advised to scoop it up and put it on eBay.
“That is worth a lot,” said one woman.
In 2016 a family on south Australia’s west coast discovered another load of the jelly with a value of more than £550,000.
However university experts poured scorn on the woman’s hopes.
They thought the alien-like jelly was another sea specimen, more likely to be a group of sea squirts instead, also known as sea pork.
Professor Sandie Degnan, of the University of Queensland, told Yahoo News Australia: “It is a kind of sea squirt, related to the cunjevois that many people are familiar with growing on our rocky shores (step on them and they squirt out water; fisherman cut them open to use their guts as fishing bait).
“This particular kind of sea squirt, probably in the genus Aplidium, is actually a colony of hundreds of tiny individual sea squirts, compared to a cunjevoi that is one single, large individual.”
Sea pork gets its name by looking just like massive slabs of pig fat.
Sea squirts are also known as tunicates – rubbery organisms with sack-like bodies, which attach to jetties and boats and filter surrounding seawater for nutrients.
They can come in a variety of colours including pink, red, green and black.
Tunicates are distributed in ocean waters from the polar regions to the tropics, but despite how common they are they still baffle people who see them wash up.
In January beach goers in the US were equally baffled when they happened across the ugly blob and branded it a “sea alien”.