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Thousands duped by 'human-sized eel' in NZ river

An aspiring Kiwi film maker is having the last laugh after fooling a city council, a US talk show and thousands of people online with his video of a monster eel.

Thousands took the bait, including the Palmerston North City Council and a US television show. Source: 1 NEWS

Tim Hamilton tricked his audience by leading them to believe that a huge eel was lurking in the filthy Manawatu river.

Little did the Palmerston North City Council, a US show and over 100,000 people on YouTube realise, Mr Hamilton was duping them.

Using a piece of red plastic, an eel and a bathtub, the 20-year-old convinced the audience that a human-sized anaconda-looking species was living in the river.

"It was one of those four o'clock in the morning ideas and it only took a few hours so we just did it," Mr Hamilton told ONE News.

"I've just being trying to ignore the masses of emails asking where to find them..."

He had to come clean to the city council too who were excited to see what they thought was life in the dirty river.

"The Manawatu river is falling apart, it's a horrible place, so they were really really stoked to find a video of eels in the river and thought they could get a bit more funding and put a bit more money into cleaning up the river if these clips were real," Mr Hamilton said.

The self-taught special effects whiz says he made the clip in his mum's bathtub with his brother Ray.

The amateur film maker also worked on the hit mockumentary What we do in the Shadows and is involved in some big budget upcoming projects.

"I kind of got removed from school at a very young age so this has kind of been a pastime thing," Mr Hamilton said.