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PHOTO: Mysterious 'Monster' Is Either Dragon, Demon, or Hellbender

What began as a normal and muddy-enough university research field trip into the freezing wilderness of West Virginia, led to the researchers discovering a "monster" that has the denizens of Twitter puzzled and bewildered, and a little more than terrified that the Upside Down has yet again invaded our world.


What is this slimy beast? Is it a dragon, or a demogorgon?

Twitter wants to know!

The reveal of the lizard-like creature sparked mad pop-culture speculation that ran wild and rampant through our hopes and nightmares.

Someone pointed out that it looks like a dragon we all love and adore.

"It looks like the dragon from "how to train your dragon"

Toothless!

Others were thinking the same thing.

We just can't get enough of the guy. What's not to love? He flies, breathes fire, and is the best friend any viking could ask for.

But others recognized something "strange" about the slimy beast.

Naw... It couldn't be!

Is it a baby demadog? Slithered up from the Upside Down to eat all our cats?

Ummm, no. Homey don't mess with demons. Didn't Stranger Things teach them anything? I'm good, thank you bye!

Run.

Too Soon?

Or maybe this creature is the kind that sneaks and hides beneath the beds of little children, waiting to feed on their worst nightmares. To which we seay:

Finally, after Twitter had lost its mind, another member of the research team clarified what the slimy creature actually was.

Take it away, James Fartley!

"Apparently no one cares about Hellbender's unless you call them Demogordons. But going viral is definitely a good way to end my field work."

Turns out the cute little guy is just a hellbender, such a harmless name that is, which is a giant salamander. It is also called a "snot otter" or a "lasagna lizard."

I mean... "snot lizard?" "Lasagna lizard?"

At least "hellbender" strikes fear in the hearts of middle-age, suburban Americans.

Me? I was hoping for something a bit more classic:

Creature from the Black Lagoon!

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h/t: Hellbender.org