This mysterious spike-covered sea creature has baffled the fishermen who found it

The bizarre beast (Fishing the Philippines/Facebook)
The bizarre beast (Fishing the Philippines/Facebook)

This is the bizarre sea animal that has baffled fishermen after being found off the Darwin coast.

The mysterious beast, which looks like a mutation between a fish and a prawn, was captured in Northern Territory waters near the maritime boundary with Indonesia.

With a slimy exterior, horns, spiked gills and large eyeballs, the fish was unlike anything its captors had seen before.

However, it didn’t take long for marine experts to identify the fish as an armoured sea robin — a rare type of fish, found deep in tropical waters.

The fish was identified as an armoured sea robin (Facebook)
The fish was identified as an armoured sea robin (Facebook)

Also known as an armoured gurnard, the fish belongs to the peristediidae family of scorpaeniform, and is related to sea robins, which dwell at the bottom of the ocean.

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Their scales, spikes and prominent barbels on their chins make them a particularly distinctive and unusual breed.

The fish are rarely found off the sea bed, where they scavenge for food — using their ‘legs’, or modified fins.

Its captors told NT News that the fish was found in a “secret spot” at a depth of about 300m.

Recently, images of sea robin “taking a walk” along the ocean floor were captured biologists on board the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s ship Okeanos Explorer in the American Samoan region of the Pacific.