A bizarre-looking carcass washed ashore recently on a New Zealand beach, fueling speculation that it was some sort of sea monster.
This is because the head and teeth of the deteriorated corpse resembled that of something ferocious and prehistoric, while the rest of the creature was unidentifiable to beachgoers who made the discovery because of its state of decay.
A YouTube video described the carcass on Pukehina Beach in the Bay of Plenty as belonging to a “strange marine creature” and the uploader asked: “Can anyone identify what it is? It has a huge head and teeth with rudimentary flippers. It seems about 9 [meters] in length but the lower part of the body is probably mainly entrails from an attack.”
Finally, however, the mystery appears to have been solved. The sea monster, according to a marine mammal expert, was most likely simply a killer whale, or orca. (Killer whales are commonly seen in the Bay of Plenty.)
Anton van Helden told New Zealand’s Sun Live newspaper that his identification was based on the fin structure of the animal.
Discovery News reported on the find under the headline: “‘Monster’ Carcass Washes Ashore in New Zealand,” and explained that creatures washing ashore in severe states of decomposition have been misidentified as sea monsters or dinosaurs for generations.
Some of these massive, unidentifiable blobs have been dubbed “blobsters.”
Discovery cites an 1896 incident in which a massive 6-foot-high “fleshy corpse” came ashore at St. Augustine, Florida. After lots of speculation a naturalist decided it belonged to some type of giant octopus, previously unknown to science.
In 2003, a 40-foot, 13-ton creature washed ashore on a beach in Chile. It was labeled by BBC News as the “Chilean Blob” and the remains were presumed by one expert to be those of a giant octopus or squid, and by another as whale blubber.
Based in DNA analysis, the blubber, in fact, was found to match that of a sperm whale.