The carcass of a giant, unidentified sea creature washed up on an island in Indonesia Tuesday night, sparking questions about just how much we know about what lurks in the depths of the ocean.
The internet was awash with speculation after photos and video of the 49-foot-long, 35-ton carcass were posted online, according to Fox 13 Salt Lake City.
Some observers speculated that it was a giant squid, although none that big have ever been reported.
Other online commenters thought it could be an elephant because of the tusk-like protrusion emanating from what looks like a face.
But according to Live Science, whale biologist Alexander Werth says it’s most definitely a baleen whale.
"There is lots of stuff in the ocean that we don't know about — but there's nothing that big," he claims.
He says the features match up perfectly with that of a very badly decomposed whale.
At closer look, the creature’s “tusk” does look very much like a large whale bone.
But whales die all the time. Why is such a common thing so hard to identify?
Werth explains that whales that big normally sink deep into the ocean, where they are fed upon for up to two years. In some rare cases, though, they can get filled with their own gases and rise to the surface where ocean currents bring them to shore.
"It must stink to high heaven," Werth added.
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