The ocean is known for its odd-looking beasts, but sorry, there is no such thing as a "manaphin."
The folks with Visit St. Pete/Clearwater would have you believe otherwise in what is becoming a fairly successful April Fools' Day prank.
The PR staff released information about a rare sighting of a "long-extinct animal," a hybrid between a dolphin and manatee.
They even went as far as to make a website, www.manaphin.com, providing background on this cleverly created animal of the sea.
Of course, it's all a stunt to gain attention on April 1, but the effort deserves a golf clap.
"To have a sighting of one of these hybrid mammals anywhere is an extraordinary thing," said Clearwater Marine Aquarium Marine Mammal Trainer John Widick in a release. "But to have a sighting of one this far up in the Gulf of Mexico is truly remarkable and speaks to the cleanliness of the waters in the Gulf of Mexico -- and the fact that Mother Nature has the final say in whether something is extinct."
The release goes on to say that Charles Darwin likely encountered the "manaphin" while venturing the Galapagos long ago.
Nice try, VSPC. Nice try.
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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