Alien-looking creature leaves homeowner freaked out after it moves

A Reddit user has been left "freaked out" by an "alien" animal they found in their home.

The Australian social media user said they initially thought the creature, which they spotted outside their back door, was a piece of bark or a bundle of leaves.

But as they observed the find they noticed the animal move.

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"Just seen this alien thing outside my back door, it moves so it’s alive," they wrote, sharing a photo of the creepy critter.

"Pen has been added for scale. Google came up with a dehydrated katydid and it looks nothing like that. Please help identify and should I burn my house down?

"I was freaked out when I saw its head. I thought it may attach but it moves very slowly."

Other Aussies were quick to comment on the post – and despite the nation's famous array of wildlife, nobody seemed to know what the creature was.

"It’s the thing outta Alien vs. Predator," one said.

"Time to move out," another chimed in, while a third said they'd spotted a similar creature.

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"Oh lord, I have one at my house too and I have been wondering what the actual f***k it was," they wrote. "Mine just looks like an innocent piece of bark until you see it move, it’s horrific."

While the creature initially sent the internet into a frenzy, it wasn't long before the animal was identified as a case moth caterpillar.

The insects are common on Australia's east coast and are known for building their own mobile homes to live in, spending most of their lives in caterpillar form.

And while they might look pretty creepy, case moth caterpillars are not considered a threat to humans and feed mostly off plants and lichens or hunt for food in ants' nests, depending on their species.

Describing the critter, the Australian Museum said: "The caterpillars who make their own mobile home are often seen attached to fences and walls in urban settings.

"Case moths, bag moths or bagworms are names given to a group of moths whose caterpillars make mobile homes from silk, usually attaching plant material, detritus or sand grains to the outside. The Saunders‘ case moth first attaches leaves then short twigs arranged lengthwise.

"Case moths spend most of their lives as caterpillars, the larval stage, which may last for up to one or two years in some species. Once constructed, the female caterpillars never leave their cases."

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