Giant Eyeball Mystery Solved: Experts Say The Softball-Sized Eye Was Cut Out Of A Swordfish Head

By Amir Khan on October 15, 2012 12:10 PM EDT

Giant Eyeball
The giant eyeball mystery is solved! Experts say the softball-sized eyeball came from a swordfish, and the cuts across it indicate that it was likely cut out of the fish’s head by a fisherman and tossed overboard. (Photo: FFWC)

The giant eyeball mystery is solved! Experts say the softball-sized eyeball came from a swordfish, and the cuts across it indicate that it was likely cut out of the fish's head by a fisherman and tossed overboard.

"It's definitely been unusual to have a situation quite like this," Kevin Baxter, a spokesman for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, told NBCNews.

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When the giant eyeball mystery began on Friday, speculation was abound with what creature it could have come from. Guesses ranged from a giant squid to big foot, but experts say that the eye coming from a swordfish makes the most sense.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission issued a release on Monday, hopefully putting the giant eyeball mystery to bed:

"After examining an eye found on a south Florida beach this week, researchers from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission believe the specimen came from a swordfish. Genetic testing will be done to confirm the identification.

"'Experts on site and remotely have viewed and analyzed the eye, and based on its color, size and structure, along with the presence of bone around it, we believe the eye came from a swordfish,' said Joan Herrera, curator of collections at the FWC's Fish and Wildlife Research Institute in St. Petersburg. 'Based on straight-line cuts visible around the eye, we believe it was removed by a fisherman and discarded.'

"The approximately softball-size eye was recovered by a citizen in Pompano Beach on Wednesday. FWC staff received the eye later that day. Swordfish are commonly fished in the Florida Straits offshore of south Florida at this time of year.

"A highly migratory fish, swordfish can be found from the surface to as deep as 2,000 feet. Swordfish in the Atlantic can reach a maximum size of over 1,100 pounds, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Swordfish feed on a wide variety of fish and invertebrates."


 

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