Screencap: TV Asahi via CNN

Japanese citizens on one of the country's northern shores were left shocked and scared recently after a 'ghost ship' washed up with eight decomposing bodies on board.

The scariest part? This isn't the first vessel of its kind to be found! Several of these boats have been spotted in recent times, with experts believing that they're coming from North Korea.

We're not sure how long the boat had been floating around the Sea of Japan, but due to the state of the bodies, which were little more than skeletons upon their arrival on Japanese shores, it is estimated that the boat had been out there for a few weeks.

The Japan Coast Guard spotted the vessel on Friday and followed as it washed ashore near the city of Oga. Investigators found empty cigarette packages and life vests which seemed to be North Korean on board, suggesting that the people on the boat were defectors.

11 bodies believed to have come from North Korea have been discovered along Japan's coastlines so far this year. Back in 2015, 27 bodies were found! And in the last year alone, 44 different vessels have washed ashore or been spotted off the coast.

It is believed that around 30,000 citizens have defected from North Korea in the last few decades but not all of the ships appear to be filled with defectors. Some of them just seem to have been fishing vessels who lost their way.

Satoru Miyamoto, a university professor and expert on North Korea, revealed that more ships had been appearing over the last few years.

“It’s after Kim Jong Un decided to expand the fisheries industry as a way of increasing revenue for the military. They are using old boats manned by the military, by people who have no knowledge about fishing,” Miyamoto told CNN. “It will continue.”

Seo Yu-Suk, a South Korean researcher, said that after the United States put tougher sanctions on North Korea, fisherman from the nation have had to travel further out to sea in search of food.