When Indonesian Asrul Tuanakota first saw a large object washed up on a beach on Serum Island, he assumed it was a wrecked ship, but closer inspection showed that it was something much more mysterious — a giant sea creature.
The massive, 50-feet long creature had been dead for at least three days before its carcass came ashore and was found by the 37-year-old, according to the U.K. Express.
Upon determining that it was some sort of sea animal, locals initially thought that the mysterious being was an elusive giant squid. Experts have said it’s more likely to be a whale, although tests were being conducted to get definitive answers.
Marcus Chua, a curator at the Lee Kong Chian National History Museum, told Mashable the carcass was probably a baleen whale, but could not be sure.
“[Based] on the images and videos, in the advanced stage of decomposition, it is not possible to determine whether that is a humpback whale or not,” said Chua, who is also a curator of mammals and birds at the National University of Singapore-affiliated museum.
He also noted that there had been no report of giant squid in Indonesian waters, indicating that the initial beliefs about the creature were incorrect.
Regina Asmutis-Silvia, executive director of Whale and Dolphin Conservation, agreed that it likely was not a giant squid.
“Giant squid are invertebrates and there are clearly bones visible (jaw, skull, vertebrate) so I am very comfortable saying it’s some type of rorqual whale,” Asmutis-Silvia said, according to AOL.
Residents have reportedly asked the government to help them remove the creature’s remains, as it has been decaying into the water, according to WCMH.
Meanwhile, visitors were reportedly flocking to the site to catch a glimpse and take photographs of the rotting monster, and a local military command had been assigned to keep watch over the strange sea carcass.
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