Bloody sea lamprey reportedly caught in Jersey waters (VIDEO)

WASHINGTON – It’s probably not what your average fisherman hopes to catch.

A photo of a bloody lamprey caught in New Jersey waters went viral online this week. Someone with the username jlitch posted a photo on Reddit of a lamprey he says his friend caught.

To see the photo, click here or watch the second video below. (Editor’s note: Image may be too graphic for some readers.)

WTOP has not verified that the photo is authentic. The user posted extra photos here as more “proof” the fish is real.

It appears the lamprey was shot using a bow and arrow. Its size also may be a matter of perspective related to the camera, as some Reddit commenters note.

Lampreys are eel-like creatures and are parasites who feed on the blood of other fish. They can be found in some American rivers and adults average 2 to 2 1/2 feet long, according to the Gulf of Maine Research Institute.

National Geographic’s video on lampreys shows their average size:

This story has been modified.

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