The Daily Mail called the decaying mass a “mysterious 30 foot long rotting sea monster with huge teeth,” the New York Daily News described a “monster from the deep” and Express.co.uk asked: “Is this a sea monster from the darkest depths of the ocean?”
As per Ann, the creature had no eyes, and with its sharp teeth on display certainly gave the appearance of being something hitherto unseen.
She uploaded the video and asks other users to identify it. That’s when the video went viral and drew speculation from some that it was perhaps the seed of the “Loch Ness” monster, a “ginormous” eel, and possibly a sea monster.
“This strange marine creature washed up dead on Pukehina Beach in the Bay of Plenty last week after some violent storms,” YouTube user Elizabeth Ann wrote alongside her original video on April 28. “Can anyone identify what it is? It is has a huge head and teeth with rudimentary flippers. It seems about 9M in length but the lower part of the body is probably mainly entrails from an attack.”
However, mammal expert Anton van Helden from Auckland University was able to perform a quick identification based on the fin: it’s an orca or killer whale. Killer whale carcasses have been known to wash up on shores in such a state of decomposition as to give amateurs curious impressions as to their classification. Still, the orca made for a very nice picture of what would otherwise have been an epic discovery.
As Discovery notes, this isn’t the first bizarre mass of dead meat to wash up on shore. Marine “blobsters” — large carcasses so badly decomposed as to evade definitive identification — puzzled researchers for years until an innovative team analyzed tissue samples with electron microscopes. Interestingly enough, they turned out to be various species of whales.
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