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The slithery critter was discovered by shocked Luján Eroles, 46, in the courtyard of her Spanish home. It measured about 10cm long with scaly serpentine skin, and even appeared to wink an eye, Ms Eroles said.

“I looked down and I noticed the strange animal, but I was struck with fear struck knowing that it could have been poisonous”, she added.

“I had never seen anything like it — it was just like a snake and its eyes were so strange.

“We all thought it was a mutant animal, which is why we filmed it and put it online for people to give us their opinions.”

It turns out the creature is a large elephant hawk-moth caterpillar, a critter known for its horn-like curved spines.

“It was camouflaged to look like a form of snake to scare off predators.”

The species can also be found across Britain and Ireland, but its larvae are usually much smaller at around 3in long.

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