Experts identify human tongue look-a-like sea creature as sea squirt

A photo of a mysterious sea creature caught off the coast of Australia last week is going viral.

The photo was posted to Facebook by a man who said he reeled it in near South Fremantle, Australia, in hopes that the online community may have some answers for this underwater animal's identity.

RELATED: See photos of popular mythological creatures

But most users who weighed in couldn't help but marvel at the creature's tongue -- which has an uncanny resemblance to that of a fish.

"Ewww it really looks like a cut out tongue," one user commented on the post, while another person wrote, "the cow's tongue, must have been eaten by a shark."

Another user guessed the "tongue" was instead polished coral.

But creature's identity was ultimately revealed by the Western Australian Museum Head of Aquatic Zoology, Dr. Jane Fromont.

Dr. Fromont told WA Today identified the obscure creature as either "an ascidian or sea squirt."

SEE ALSO: Fish with 'human-like teeth' found swimming in Michigan lake

"This particular specimen is a colonian ascidian meaning that it has numerous individuals within the dark pink oval jelly casing seen in the image," Dr.Fromont said. "Each little whitish flower like shape indicates an individual."

Dr. Justin McDonald, the principal biosecurity scientist at the Department of Fisheries, added the that the sea creature had begun the process of going into hiding but had not been able to reach completion after being discovered.

"When you disturb the animal they retract and close their openings and essentially start to shrivel up – the colonial ascidian has retracted but not yet shriveled," he said.

Sea squirts are a relatively common finding off the West Australian coast.