Photo of beached mystery sea monster with terrifying toothy smile sparks fear and curiosity

This photo of a terrifyingly toothy sea monster has sparked fear and curiosity among residents of Prince Edward Island off the Canada's eastern coast. Photographed on Brackley Beach, the image turned up on ask PEI.'s Facebook page. According to Canadian Wildlife Health Co-operative pathologist Laura Bourque, its eternal grin makes the animal look freakier than it actually is.

"The kind of picture that is stirring everyone up is that one that kind of taken front-on where you see all the teeth, but this happens to me all the time," Bourque told Saltwire. "With wildlife pictures, the optics of the two-dimensional image tend to skew things a little bit. The specimen isn't all that big but, in that picture, looks terrifying, right?''

So what is it? According to Tonya Wimmer, executive director of the Marine Animal Response Society, it's actually an Atlantic white-sided dolphin that had been reported back in December but was never disposed of.

"Over the course of the winter, it was preserved quite a bit and then it started to decompose when it got to this time of year," Bourque added. "It started looking fairly manky."