'Sea monster' washed up on beach compared to Netflix Stranger Things shadow monster

The creature was found washed up on Bennar beach near Dyffryn Ardudwy, in Gwynedd Credit: Media Wales

Stunned beachgoers have come across a creature with an alien-like appearance like nothing they had ever seen before.

The critter was found at high tide on Bennar beach near Dyffryn Ardudwy, in Gwynedd, by regular visitor Shell Longmore.

When she posted on Facebook to find out what it was, she was inundated with suggestions on the creature's identity - with its appearance striking a particular chord with fans of Stranger Things.

Many people compared it with the Shadow Monster - also known as the Mind Flayer - a giant, spider-like beast from the mega-hit Netflix series.

“The stuff of nightmares. That’s what it is,” one commenter wrote.

The creature was compared to Stranger Things' shadow monster Credit: Netflix

Shell said: “I thought I had seen all the local wildlife until I found this – it was a massive shock! It was a strange-looking creature but also very beautiful.”

Bearing shell-like claws, the creature was identified as a gaggle of Gooseneck barnacles. Regarded as “impossibly ugly”, they are considered a rare delicacy, known as percebes, with sweet and salty tasting flesh.

Gooseneck barnacles come at a luxury price too. Traditionally gathered from underwater rocks and crevices on Spain’s Costa da Morte, or Coast of Death, they are among the world’s most expensive seafoods.

The creature is one of the most expensive seafoods money can buy Credit: Media Wales

Export prices of up to £300 per kilo have been reported, though they can be bought online for around £80-£90 for a kilogram.

The price reflects the dangers involved in gathering them by Percebeiros – specialist Gooseneck barnacle fishermen who risk their lives diving beneath crashing waves. The taste is said to resemble a cross between lobster and clam, with a texture akin to octopus.

The Gooseneck barnacle may have got its name simply because its curved, claw-like stalk looks like a goose’s neck and head.

Want a quick and expert briefing on the biggest news stories? Listen to our latest podcasts to find out What You Need To know...