Nope, the above timelapse video isn't of a nascent extraterrestrial life form, freshly hatched and hell-bent on destroying our planet. It's actually a fungus called Clathrus archeri, or devil’s finger, which is native to Australia and New Zealand.

Over at Nerdist, Sarah Keartes explains that the bizarre plant looks like a big, mushy pile of goo until reproductive season arrives. The fungus then opens up to reveal a spore-producing structure called the fruit body, which consists of four to eight red, tentacle-like "arms" that wouldn't look out of place in an Alien sequel. The "fingers" are covered with a stinky tissue, which attracts flies. In turn, the flies' feet are coated with the fungus spores. Once they take off, the insects carry the spores with them, dispersing them across the land—and unwittingly causing the whole horrific growth cycle to begin anew in some poor, unsuspecting Aussie or Kiwi's backyard.

All images courtesy of YouTube.

[h/t Nerdist]