An unsuspecting South African man created a stir of fear and confusion among the online community when they mistakenly assumed his spooky pictures were aliens emerging from the sea. His photos have been shared to a South African Facebook group, garnering countless hilarious reactions – as reported by Kennedy News.
“I was surprised [by the reaction],” Jan Vorster, a resident of Still Bay in the Western Cape, excitedly shared with Kennedy News his otherworldly photographs taken from his hometown. “I thought that people would have fun with it, but then it was very serious, some of it was extremely serious.”
He said, “A lot of people were scared of these alien-looking sea monsters. It was like ‘Jaws’ — is it safe to go into the water?”
The 62-year-old farm worker had arranged the lifeless aloe vera plants to resemble tentacled monsters on the beach at sunrise and captured this haunting image. In an effort to bring attention to environmental destruction, he shared these remarkable photos on Facebook.
“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,” Vorster said. “That was the idea.”
Regrettably, Vorster’s eco-friendly photo opportunity was misconstrued when viewers believed that the desiccated desert plants were extraterrestrial life forms making a beach invasion — similar to Orson Welles’ infamous “War of the Worlds” radio show from 1938 that caused public panic.
“Just wanted to cancel my vacation,” gasped an astonished viewer of the unconventional eco-PSA. “Because of things like this, I don’t swim. I’m already scared of a shark.”
“Please go back into the ocean,” said another, while one terrified commentator exclaimed, “Are you serious? Holy moly… scary.”
“Never seen those before in all the years living on the coast,” stated another. “Maybe they’re only in Cape waters.”
“They look like some alien thing from War of the Worlds with Tom Cruise,” exclaimed one commenter, calling back to Steven Spielberg’s 2005 sci-fi remake.
“People kept asking me when they [the creatures] were coming out, and if they were only coming out at night,” Vorster elucidated, adding that he further produced the otherworldly performance at a closeby river.
In an effort to alleviate fear, the befuddled eco-activist attempted to explain that this was no SeaT.
However, his aloe vera-fication only made things worse as critics claimed he’d “misled them” and “should be crucified,” Vorster stated.
“People Googled the aloe ferox [scientific name] and couldn’t put two and two together,” he said. “They kept saying, ‘Please help us, because this is not a plant. This can’t be a plant.’ “
Incredibly, some online pragmatists forwarded Vorster’s photographs to an environmental scientist for evaluation in order to ensure the figures posed no risk or danger towards humans.
Despite the heated criticism, this brave farmer hopes to craft more environmental PSAs in the days ahead. “I’ve learned a lot, and I’m very motivated to continue with Aloe feroxes and keep focusing on nature-related issues,” Vorster said.
Unfortunately, this isn’t an isolated instance of a washed-up object being mistaken for some kind of mythical creature.
Recently, a British beach dweller was amazed when they spotted an incredible creature washed up on the shoreline — and with many arguing that it may have been Scotland’s renowned Loch Ness Monster. Pictures of this peculiar being quickly made their way around social media, sparking debate across the internet.