Locals weirded out by green ‘alien’-looking creature that washed up on beach

Beach-goers have been left puzzled by an 'alien' sea creature that washed up on the shore of a beach.

Locals were left open-mouthed and scratching their heads after the creature washed up at Darook Beach, Cronulla, in Sydney's south.

The football-sized critter, which is an ugly shade of green, set off a search for answers.

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One dog walker posted on social media and said they had seen a number of the creatures.

They said: "They are everywhere – I was also wondering what they are."

Another beach-goer in the Sutherland Shire said she had seen more of the creatures "washed up all week".

Aquarist Harry Masefield, from the Sea Life Sydney Aquarium, said the creature was a sea hare, also known as a sea slug.

He told Yahoo News the creature's washed-out state could be the result of recent weather playing havoc with its living conditions.

He said: "This one doesn't look too happy, likely climate change."

Sea hares are usually dark purple or green in colour and release a purple dye to protect against predators in the wild.

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They frequent the east and west coast of Australia, as well as New Zealand's north island.

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Bodies of the creatures have been seen on West Australian shores too.

Dr Lisa Kirkendale, from the Western Australian Museum, told the ABC that when dead, the sea hares wash up onto the shore.

Dog owners were warned to keep their pets from making a meal out of the sea hares as they can make them sick.

The creatures can be toxic to eat if they graze on certain types of algae.

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