A man inadvertently sparked panic after sharing creepy photos which people compared to something out of War of the Worlds.
Jan Vorster, from Still Bay, Western Cape, South Africa, took a snap on the beach and shared it on Facebook, hoping to raise awareness of environmental issues.
However, his photos ended up creating confusion and fear instead after they were shared by another page which labelled the shapes as ‘sea spiders’.
The post ended up amassing 22,000 comments and 52,000 shares.
One commenter said, “They look like some alien thing from War of the Worlds with Tom Cruise.”
Another person added: “Omg I wouldn’t even attempt to stay and try to figure it out. I would bolt like a shot.”
Although it seems like most comments about the creepy photos are made in jest, Jan said he has received messages from worried tourists who are concerned that the beach may be dangerous.
Some people even sent the images to be inspected by an environmental scientist, who confirmed that the looming shapes were not at all dangerous to humans.
That’s because the spidery shapes are not in fact aliens, but dead aloe vera plants.
“I thought I could use this as a metaphor for how people see these plants as aliens, but we are actually the two-legged aliens messing up their world. That was the idea,” the 62-year-old explained.
“The comments started immediately. Then it was shared like you can’t believe.
“I was surprised [by the reaction]. I thought that people would have fun with it, but then it was very serious, some of it was extremely serious.
“A lot of people were scared of these alien-looking sea monsters. It was like Jaws – is it safe to go into the water?
“People kept asking me when they [the creatures] were coming out, and if they were only coming out at night.”
As for father-of-one Jan, he is undeterred by the unexpected reaction to his unique photography and is still keen to keep working on similar projects.
“They kept saying, ‘Please help us, because this is not a plant. This can’t be a plant,'” he said.
“[Some people said] that I misled them, and that I should be crucified for that. But lots of people have had a lot of fun.
“I learned a lot about social media. It’s [just] a picture, I didn’t expect this to happen and for the reaction to be so big.”
Theresa Linda Árnadottir says
Beautiful photos and they are not to be scary of lol, well not for me least hehe.
David Anderson says
Very creative. And the way you set them up to appear as to be following the lead one gives it an intelligence factor of being able to work together to achieve a common goal..similar to ant colonies. Caused quite a stir on Facebook. Kudos my friend.
nancy shireen pardee says
fooled me, but what do I know,
Cheri D Barber says
I never jump to conclusion Just look it up on the internet it is the biggest way to get info on anything. Even telephone calls that you don’t know. Or if it is an spam
nancy shireen pardee says
Nay, they would have to be diff. to get to earth
Makes me think that if we do get visited by aliens, this is probably what they will look like – not quite as anthropomorphic as on TV and movies.
What relevance is it that he’s a dad of one??
Renee Smoke says
I thought that too!! Lol 😂
Brandon Hakulin says
Great photo! They actually looked like spider crabs that had the top part of their shell removed and insides eaten. Thanks for sharing it and please continue to spread awareness. There are some of us that are paying attention and following suit.
David Nelson Robertson says
If there was an alien landing there is every chance that we would not register them at all as they would probably be out of our sphere of reference for recognition.
john doe says
their just some from of octopi from deep deep down there not aliens
John Anthony Delacruz says
Absolutely a genius to come up with this! It had my mind going for a while of what was I looking at. That the fact that people speak about it of a movie wars of the world because i ain’t that spectacle to fear such an idea and think logically but it did kept me going of what it was and why 🙂 this world has so many amazing things that meets the eye and where the best stores are created by the imagination of someone that created an idea through fear or had a double take of something that didn’t look normal. 😀 but this art piece is beautiful and should be framed in a wall to enjoy the creative view !