A creature with more than a passing resemblance to HP Lovecraft’s terrifying Chthulu once actually existed, palaeontologists have revealed – although at just three centimetres wide, it was hardly a danger to shipping or buildings.
Not, of course, that there were any human-made structures around when Sollasina cthulhu prowled across the ocean floor some 430 million years ago.
The creature, a very distant ancestor of sea cucumbers and sea slugs, is revealed in a paper published in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B.
It was found in fossilised form in the UK county of Hereford. A team of researchers led by Imran Rahman from the University of Oxford then spent months painstakingly grinding it away, taking photographs at every stage, resulting in an accurate 3D computer reconstruction.
It has a face only a mother could love: