The highly circulated picture of a half man - half fish, claimed to have been washed ashore by the tsunami, is creating an uneasy stir in Honiara.

Charles Lega, a form seven student, brought the picture to the Solomon Times after receiving it from friends. "It looks real, but it could be easily created" Mr Lega said. "Many of my friends in school actually believe it some say they have heard stories from their grandparents of such strange creatures"

The origin of the picture is not known, but many claim it was taken straight after the tsunami. "I was told by friends that it was taken after the tsunami by a technician working at a remote site in the West" Mr Lega said. "Others said it was taken by team of doctors assisting in the tsunami aftermath, and was stolen by their local guide"

According to Lega the picture has already been widely circulated. "Every corner of town is talking about this creature" Mr Lega said. "Many say it resembles the creature on our ten cents coin"

According to stories I heard the creature on the ten cent coin is an ancient Sea God worshipped by many Lega said. "I guess it will be just a matter of time before someone will show that it is a hoax" Lega said. "Or it could be our own mystery, similar to the big foot and Lochness monster"

But then again, I know for a fact that these things are not real Lega said. "Simple computer programmes can create such pictures" Lega said it will be diffcult to explain that to those who do not understand. "It is a hoax, try telling that to market vendors who may have seen it"