The carcass of what appeared to be a giant sea monster washed up on a New Zealand shore last week, but experts say the remains are actually that of an orca killer whale.
A group of beachgoers near Pukehina on New Zealand's Bay of Plenty stumbled upon the 30-foot-long carcass last week and were stumped as to what it could be. One of the people posted a video of the "sea monster" on YouTube April 28 with the title," Can anyone identify what it is?"
The clip piqued the interest of the Internet, with comments pouring in offering suggestions as to what the remains could be — anything from a saltwater crocodile to a leopard seal to a giant moray eel.
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But marine biologist Anton van Helden told New Zealand's Channel 3 that the carcass is an orca killer whale, as evidenced by its signature flipper.
The killer whale (Orcinus orca), also referred to as the Orca, is a toothed whale belonging to the oceanic dolphin family. Killer whales are found in all oceans, from the frigid Arctic and Antarctic regions to tropical seas.
Over the past centuries, mysterious masses of marine flesh have occasionally washed ashore on beaches around the world. Dubbed "blobsters" (or simply "blobs"), these large carcasses are so badly decomposed there’s not enough material to make a definitive identification
, according to Discovery.com. To many people, the huge creatures — looking unlike any known animal — may seem like strong evidence for sea monsters or even existing dinosaurs.
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