PETALING JAYA - A pair of dark disembodied hands, similar to that of "The Thing" from the Addams Family, made a spooky appearance in two photos taken at Mount Kinabalu shortly after the 5.9 magnitude earthquake which hit Sabah.
Persatuan Komuniti Bugis Sabah (PKBS) vice-president Samasuddin Yusop, who is part of a group of donors pictured with the mysterious limbs, said neither images, taken at the base of Mount Kinabalu, were altered.
"Many people asked us about the photographs but even we have difficulty determining if was a makhluk (mysterious creature) or a problem with the cameras," the former Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS) corporate communications head told The Star Online when contacted.
The images, which have since gone viral, were taken using separate gadgets - a mobile phone and a Nikon camera.
Both photos captured the image of the additional limbs.
While the mobile phone camera caught a pair of extra hands, the photo captured by the Nikon camera only had just one additional hand. In both photos, the positions of the hands changed slightly.
The PKBS group had, on Tuesday visited the mountain to present their donations to the Mount Kinabalu earthquake fund, mountain guides and police officers from the Ranau police station who were affected by the quake.
They later posed for photographs with mountain guide Mhd Rizuan Kauhinin who became a national hero after an image of him carrying an injured boy down the mountain went viral. On June 5, a magnitude 5.9 earthquake struck the mountain and 18 people lost their lives.
According to Samasuddin, the image taken from the mobile phone was even more eerie than the one on the camera as there are two hands resting very close to his back.
"A day after the photos were taken, a member of our group was checking the images and we were all surprised (by the hands)," he said.
However, Samasuddin is not worried about his eldritch encounter as the group visited the mountain with good intentions.
"We came to give contributions, so tak rasa apa (we do not feel anything). Even until today, I do not feel anything but it is my other friends who are creeped out instead," he said cheerfully.
He felt there is perhaps a lesson to be learnt from the strange encounter.
"The image could be a reminder to keep in mind the victims who had lost their lives to the earthquake."
Samasuddin said that many religious ceremonies for the departed had yet to be carried out as the people were preoccupied with Search and Rescue (SAR) missions.
"We should recite Al-Fatihah for the Muslim victims, and for the non-Muslims, pray that they may rest in peace," he said.
Misbahuddin Rida, the man whom the mysterious hands had chosen to lean against, was more amused than afraid from his first-hand encounter.
"At first, I wondered about it but after a while, it is ok... things are normal. We posted the photo on our WhatsApp group and a friend responded saying that he was uncomfortable with the image as there was something not right about it. Only then did we realise it," said the jovial man.
"I initially thought it could be my (right) hand, but it is strange. After looking at the position of the hands, I tried straightening my arms to emulate it but it (the position) is very difficult to do," he said.
Although he cannot remember exactly his right hand's actual position, Misbahuddin said what appeared on the photo did not look like a part of his body.
"The hand is dark, and its nails look dead. I am dark as well, but my right hand is the same colour as my left. The one in the photo is darker," he said.
Misbahuddin was wearing long-sleeves and his left hand had the sleeve buttoned at the wrist. But the mysterious right arm appeared to be bare.