Scientists say they have identified the “sea monster” that washed ashore on an Indonesian beach.
The badly decomposing carcass measures over 15 meters long and baffled scientists since it washed up on Seram Island last week.
Marine biologists now believe the carcass is a dead baleen whale, largely because of a visible skeleton, which would rule out speculation that the creature was a giant squid.
“Giant squid are invertebrates and there are clearly bones visible, so I am very comfortable saying it’s some type of rorqual whale,” said Regina Asmutis-Silvia, executive director of Whale and Dolphin Conservation in an interview with the Huffington Post. “Certain species of baleen whales (rorquals) have ‘ventral grooves’ which run from their chin to their belly button. It is stretchy tissue that expands when they feed.”
Alexander Werth, a whale biologist at Hampden-Sydney College in Virginia agrees with the assessment after seeing photos of the carcass on social media that showed the nearly amorphous carcass surrounded by blood in the water. He added that the carcass probably stinks “to high heaven.”
“That’s yet another reason you don’t want to be close to these things, not because it’s a scary, spooky creature, but [because] it would just be releasing some pretty foul, noxious gases,” Werth told Live Science.
Locals have asked the government for help in removing the whale.