Sichuan villager catches weird-looking creature thought to be rare fungus

Sichuan villager catches weird-looking creature thought to be rare fungus
PHOTO: Sina Weibo

A Chinese villager was stunned when he reeled in a myseterious and strange-looking creature during a routine fishing trip.

The man, surnamed Liang, had been at a popular fishing spot along the Tuo River in Sichuan province. He had endured an unsuccessful afternoon, failing to land any fish, and was about to give up when he felt his fishing hook catch a large object, Chinese website Tencent News reported.

He was shocked to see a big, yellow lifeform when he reeled in a yellow-coloured creature with a round body and long tail. It also had a soft texture and could move.

According to English-language online tabloid Shanghaiist, the creature weighs over 6 kilograms is between 30 and 40 centimetres wide, and is also covered in barnacles.

Chinese news website People's Daily reported that the bizarre-looking creature may be a 'taisui', a rare type of fungus with great medicinal qualities.

The fungus had been eaten by Qing dynasty emperors, who believed that it would prolong their lives or even bring about immortality, according to Shanghaiist.

However, biologists from a university in Sichuan said that DNA testing was needed to determine what the creature actually is.

Stories about fishermen finding strange marine creatures from the deep sea or in rivers and lakes appear from time to time.

Last year, photos emerged of a catch made by an angler off Pulau Ubin of an octopus-like creature with hundreds of thin and gangly arms. The creature was later identified by experts to be a rare basket star.

seanyap@sph.com.sg

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