A video shared by Indian builders of so-called aliens turned out to be startled barn owls.
The feathery predators were filmed on a construction site in Visakhapatnam, capital of the south-eastern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh.
The builders who filmed them can be heard talking excitedly as two of the three owls stare at them with large dark eyes.
The birds are adolescents, just moving from being chicks into adulthood. Because of this they are skinny and lack their adult plumage, giving them an otherworldly appearance.
The birds in the video are thought to be eastern barn owls (Tyto javanica), a species closely related to the western barn owls (Tyto Alba) often seen in Britain and the rest of Europe.
Barn owls are a protected species under Indian law and they are thought to have been removed safely from the building site.