A bioluminescent, squid-like alien thing appeared in Bristol Harbour Tuesday, pulsating in a spectacular show of light and exterrestrial wonder. After 20 seconds it disappeared, but it was enough time for onlookers to Instagram the bejeezus out of the event. As the tweets and posts poured in—3.5 million in the last 24 hours—scientists were baffled.
"There is a possibility that it is a special type of jellyfish or a marine salp. It's very unusual and I haven't really seen anything like it before," Steve Simpson, senior lecturer in Biosciences at the University of Exeter, told the Telegraph.
What could it be? The Telegraph asked. A jellyfish, brought into the harbour by spring tides and recent storms? An alien? A Banksy work?
The answer revealed today: The "alien" was a PR stunt for a new magic and illusion TV show, The Happenings, from the channel Watch. The program uses illusion to bring movie-like experiences to British and American towns, very much like the Bristol Harbour "alien." The stunt was meant to "replicate this sense of magical excitement in a real world setting," says Steve Hornsey, general manager of Watch.
Is anyone else disappointed that this thing wasn't real?