Fishy business: Mysterious 55ft ‘sea monster’ washes up in China
Last updated at 8:11 AM on 23rd June 2011
You’d need a big portion of chips to go with this.
A gigantic sea beast measuring 55ft has been discovered washed up on a beach in Guangdong, China.
It was found wrapped in fishing lines, leading locals to suspect that fishermen cut it free from their nets because it was too big to haul in.
The creature is too badly decomposed to be positively identified by sight, but it’s thought to have weighed around 4.5tons.
Despite the carcass’s extraordinary smell, it’s proved to be quite a big draw for people living in the area.
Three marine biology experts — Scott Baker of Oregon State University Marine Mammal Institute, Bill Perrin, from the National Marine Fisheries Service, and Bob Brownell, from the National Atmospheric and Oceanic Administration's Fisheries Service – were all shown photographs of the creature by Live Science.
Their conclusion is that, based on its throat grooves, the creature is a whale.
Mr Baker told the journal: ‘Judging from the reported size of 55 ft, it’s maybe a fin whale. From the photo, however, it does not really look to be 55 ft, and so might be a smaller balaenopterid, like one of the “Bryde's” whales.’
He added: ‘We all hope somebody collects the bones and a tissue sample for genetic analysis as recovery of whale carcasses is rare along the coast of China.'