Pictures of a mysterious ‘bird fish’ have gone viral, prompting questions about what the bizarre creature is.
Citing the Guizhou Urban Daily newspaper, Metro reports that the fish was reeled in by anglers in Guizhou, South-West China.
The fish, which appears to more than a foot long, can be seen gasping for air in video footage. It was released back into the water, according to Metro.
Although dubbed “bird fish,” the creature is actually a deformed carp, Metro reports.
A Guizhou Fisheries Research Institute expert told Guizhou Urban Daily that the fish’s deformity is not an uncommon occurrence. The deformity may be the result of embryonic damage when the fish was growing or from a lack of oxygen in the water caused by overcrowded fish farming.