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People on the internet rushed to try and explain what on earth was the roughly 50-foot creature that had washed ashore in Indonesia.
The carcass was found in Indonesia's central Maluku province five days ago, and locals were quick to upload photos of the floating body, which was still bleeding.
Credit: YouTube/Patasiwa Kumbang Amalatu
There were a few local reports that claimed fishermen believed it was a giant squid. The only problem with that theory is that they usually don't grow more than 43-feet for females. Also, squids are invertebrates and there were bones clearly visible in the carcass.
I thought it might have been the legendary sea monster the Kraken.
But a coordinator of Indonesia's Marine and Coastal Resources Management said it was likely to be a whale (how boring). That's now been backed up by Edith Widder, chief executive of the Ocean Research and Conservation Association, who's told Huffington Post that it's most likely a baleen whale.
Chief scientist at Ocean Observatory, George Leonard also told the news site: "Trying to identify huge ocean creatures half a [world] away from a grainy video is tough to do, but once people start sharing specific information that begins to narrow in on defining characteristics of the creature, the identity begins to come into focus."
The throat pleats and the upper jaw were apparently the two giveaways, according to Live Science. The site believes the whale could have been dead anywhere from two weeks to a few months, as it appeared to be in an advanced stage of decomposition.
That's why the carcass appeared to be so foreign, because the gases produced during that stage of death inflate the body and distort its appearance.
When whales die, they will often sink to the bottom of the ocean and be a food source for an entire ecosystem of marine animals for up to two years.
Samples have been taken of the creature and they have been sent off to a laboratory to attempt to officially identify the species.
Featured Image Credit: YouTube/Patasiwa Kumbang Amalatu
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