New Zealand Sea Monster: Beach Animal Carcass Identified! [VIDEO]
A horrifying bloated sea monster that washed up on a New Zealand beach last month has been identified by a marine biologist.
The creature was mangled and water-logged, half-buried in the sand, with no eyes yet sharp, preserved teeth. It measured about 30 feet long. After a YouTube user uploaded a video of the creature, the speculation began to pour in.
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"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."
Commenters on YouTube and beyond chimed in to offer their theories. It was a giant eel. The Loch Ness Monster's spawn. A prehistoric sea monster.
But according to marine mammal expert Anton van Helden, who was sent photos of the creature by Auckland University, the sea monster that washed up on the shore of New Zealand's Bay of Plenty was decidedly less exciting.
It was just a simple orca, or killer whale. Van Helden was able to identify the "sea monster" by its distinctive orca flipper.
As Discovery points out, bloated marine carcasses like the New Zealand orca have washed up on shores for centuries. These "blobsters" (or simply "blobs") are usually in such a state of decay that they're difficult to identify, and their weird, gelatinous shapes lead many to lead to wild conclusions about them. They're sea monsters! Or dinosaurs!
But then they just turn out to be killer whales, which are still scary, but certainly not as scary as a prehistoric sea monster.
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