Ben Laurie sees some weird things while diving.
So when the Kerikeri man came across a large wormlike sea creature while diving in the Bay of Islands on Wednesday, it wasn't a big shock - he just wondered what it was.
"You see so much weird stuff out there diving all the time. It was kind of odd, it was just a big, I don't know - I had no idea. Hadn't seen anything as weird as that before," he said.
"It had a slight tinge of pink to it and dots all around it ... it was just like a giant condom under water."
That creature, which was about 13 metres deep and between 5 to 10 metres long, was a pyrosome, which is made up of billions of tiny sea squirts.
Whangārei marine environmentalist Wade Doak first spotted one in the mid 1960s and reckons he was probably one of the first people in the world to ever see one.
"I first thought 'is this something that's come in from outer space?' because there was nothing else like it.
"I've likened it to a big stocking, or even a big condom for a bit of a laugh. It's got a unique way of getting around the world's ocean. It is composed of billions of tiny sea squirts," he said.
Laurie was diving with his friends Kevin Lloyd, Jamie Howden and William when the creature was spotted. He managed to capture footage of it which was provided to the Advocate courtesy of WildBlue.
He didn't touch it but one of his friends knocked his head on it and said it had a cardboard texture to it.
The sighting comes after a pyrosome was spotted in November by two friends who were diving off the coast of Whakaari, the stratovolcano on White Island.
Doak said, at this time of year, cold water comes up to the surface from the deep and the pyrosome is transported up with the current.
"They join together in a great big colony - I've likened it to an inner space colony - that drifts through the ocean and all these individuals are sucking water through the wall of the stocking and letting waste water go into the interior.
"You can imagine with billions and billions of tiny mouths sucking water through the wall and omitting it out in to the interior, something has to happen - it moves forward."
He said if divers are lucky enough to see them, it usually means the creature is in trouble.
"They're actually creatures of the abyss - they don't belong in the upper part of the sea and when they get up here reef fish eat holes in them. They love them just like kids like jelly at a party."