Parents baffled by mysterious 'U' creature on alphabet playmat

alphabet mat
The post quickly went viral as various adults weighed in. Photo credit: Reddit/Mildly Infuriating.

Many of us will have early childhood memories of learning the letters of the alphabet with flashcards, memory games and those giant, alphabet-emblazoned playmats every preschool seems to have

But one playmat in the US has left people baffled thanks to the bizarre animal attached to the letter 'U'.

Posted by a parent in the 'Mildly Irritating' Reddit forum, while other animals attached to letters seem to be the usual suspects - an Alligator for A, a B for bear and so on, they couldn't figure what the strange splotchy shape was supposed to be. 

"What's the 'U' on this kids carpet??" they captioned the snap. 

The post racked up almost 4000 comments from confused Reddit users throwing suggestions in the ring. 

"UNKOWN" one person suggested. 

"Why do I want to say 'upchuck'?" another questioned. 

Others had less child-friendly suggestions - "underwear stain" being the mildest.

Eventually, the general consensus seemed to be that it was a sea urchin or "urchin". 

That didn't put people's minds at ease, however. 

"The worst part is that Urchin doesn't even use the 'U' phonetic which ruins the point of the mat," someone pointed out. 

It's not the first time a children's character has left parents in the dark. Earlier this year, an odd animal in a children's Kmart puzzle left adults mystified.