Sea Monster Carcass – Dying to Know the Truth

DinosharkA few days ago, the internet was atwitter with the report of a supposed sea monster carcass that washed up on Luis Siret Beach in Villaricos, Spain. (Photo below. Artwork right by unknown artist.)

Officials found the rotting, smelly corpse and tried to identify it. They quickly noted “horns” near the top of what must be the creature’s head.

 

 

3-in-1SeaMonster

Photos from Ideal.es Ameria Facebook page

That was all it took to send speculation into the stratosphere. Fortunately scientists quickly entered the fray and determined that the 13-foot carcass was that of a shark.

According to Dean Grubbs an ichthyologist at Florida State University, “That is definitely a shark skeleton. The elements toward the back were confusing me, but those are the lower caudal fin supports. The ‘horns’ are the scapulocoracoids which support the pectoral fins.”

Another scientist, David Shiffman who is a marine biologist, said, “It’s hard to tell, but the official guess that it could be a thresher shark seems plausible.” He added, “I freely defer to Dean Grubb’s expertise in any question related to fish morphology.” Here’s what a thresher shark looks like when alive:

threshershark

That would seem to lend even more credibility to Grubb’s assessment that this carcass is indeed that of a badly decomposed shark. A third scientist, Dr. Chris Lowe of the Cal State Long Beach Sharklab emailed GrindTV Outdoor to report, “I tend to agree with Dean on this one. The lower elements do look like elasmobranch (shark) vertebrae. Probably some type of shark.”

It’s easy to see why everyone got excited and was thinking this was the definitive proof of some wonderful sea monster, but when viewing these things we have to remember that decomposition is an ugly, deforming, transforming process.

Do you remember when this photo hit the internet and caused another sea monster sensation? NessieCarcass

Turns out this was nothing more than the rotting corpse of a basking shark. The whole article can found here:

Is This Nessie Carcass a Plesiosaur?

Fortunately we have science to guide us in determining what washes up on shore. But don’t be discouraged – I still firmly believe that there are big, huge, crazy creatures lurking in the depths of our oceans. It’s only a matter of time before we, and science, discover them.

Til the next time!

6 comments

  1. I don’t believe they found out what the creature that was pulled up from sea was. I have read a lot about it and they took the pictures and threw it back because it smelled so bad. It’s only speculation that it is a shark and I firmly believe it is something way more interesting.

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