A new photograph of a fish apparently sporting human-like lips and enamel has caught the attention of the web.
The image, posted by Twitter user raff Nasir on July 2, reveals a multicolored fish with lips and mouths that look like something out of a toothpaste ad.
“Her lips are hotter than mine,” Nasir wrote in the caption of the photo (translated from Indonesian).
As of writing, the photo has amassed more than 14,000 likes and 8,000 retweets, including numerous comments questioning its authenticity.
It’s worth noting that Nasir did not state that his photo was not edited, and he did not respond to Insider’s request for comment.
While most commenters focused on the fish’s lips, which are a characteristic of the triggerfish, some experts believe the enamel may have been edited to make the fish’s mouth appear more human.
Some said the photograph was clearly of a triggerfish, along with marine biologist Lufti Afiq Rosli.
“Seeing the purple line that runs directly from the snout to the pectoral fins, and the black spot on the stomach, I guessed it was a blackbellied triggerfish,” Rosli, a PhD candidate at the Nationwide College of Singapore, told Insider. “I subsequently reviewed some images on the Internet and verified the identification using the Gerald Allen Identification Information e-book and the FishBase website.”
While the blackbellied triggerfish can be found “throughout the Indus tropical western Pacific,” Rosli does not believe the twitter photograph is 100% genuine.
“The enamel photograph looks painted to me,” he said. “Most triggerfish shouldn’t have enamel like that. They often have one set of two canine teeth on top and one set on the back. These help them catch their prey, which is often shellfish on the reef floor.”
A giant triggerfish photographed in West Papua, Indonesia. Reinhard Dirscherl\ullstein bild via Getty Images
Mark Schick, senior director of operations and animal habitats at the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago, Illinois, also believes the photo has been partially edited.
“The nail polish shot looks Photoshopped to me,” he told Insider. “The triggers have extra canine-like enamel. You might see them worn down so the dots might disappear, but they look flat on the bottom like human enamel and never cone shaped.”
Rosli said the sight of a black-bellied triggerfish remains rare.
“They are a shy species and often stay away from human contact,” he added. “For those who are divers, you won’t see them out there often. they are also not often caught for commercial fishing. If they do get caught, it’s largely as bycatch, which could be the case for our friend in the picture.”