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New Jersey 'sea monster' is likely a lamprey (+video)

Photos of an eel-like creature captured in New Jersey have gone viral, prompting speculations of a 'sea monster.' The animal appears to be a sea lamprey, a type of parasite common in northern Atlantic waters, experts say.

'Sea monster' caught in New Jersey waters
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Just one week after they appeared on the social news site Reddit, photos of a strange, bloody animal caught in a New Jersey river have drawn more than one million views. The eel-like creature has a large, round mouth, thick lips, and rows of jagged teeth.

A sea monster? Probably not. For Doug Cutler, a New Jersey fisherman who speared the creature in the Raritan River nearly two years ago, it is nothing he hasn't seen before in New Jersey waters, although that was the first time he'd actually caught one.

“A friend recently posted those pictures because we were having a contest about who had the weirdest catch. It’s nothing new to the Raritan," Cutler told the Newark Star-Ledger.

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A spokeswoman of New York Department of Environmental Conservation told the paper that the animal was likely a type of sea lamprey, a parasite native to northern Atlantic waters.

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