Scientists think they know what that Jakarta sea monster was

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Dave Fawbert

Well, we suppose we should be grateful that 50 foot giant squid don’t exist (yet).

But consider us a little disappointed that scientists believe they have identified the mysterious sea monster that washed up on a beach in Jakarta last week.

Fisherman Asrul Tuanakota, who discovered the rotting carcass on the northern shore of Seram Island last Tuesday, believed that it could be a giant squid, given that it appeared to be covered in tentacles.

However, a whale biologist at Hampden-Sydney College in Virginia, and George Leonard, the chief scientist at the Ocean Conservancy, believe they have solved the mystery, and the big news? They think it is a baleen whale.

They say that bones protruding from the flesh, together with ‘feeding plates’ from the creature’s mouth are the giveaway clues, with the ‘tentacles’ consisting of fatty blubber which has been torn into strips by scavengers such as sharks.

Normally, whale carcasses will sink to the ocean floor when the animal dies, but sometimes they will fill with gases as the body decomposes, enabling it to float to the surface then drift along the ocean.

Here is a humpback whale, a type of baleen whale, pictured in happier times, having a little splash around.

However, while you can breathe a sigh of relief that this particular one doesn’t seem to be some new, hideous, killing machine, the fact remains that this:

...and many more like it, still exist in the ocean.

No, we’re never going in. Ever. Again.

(Images: Pattimura Military Command/Nine News/iStock)


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Dave Fawbert staff writer Dave’s primary passions are pop, prose, punning and power ballads (and alliteration). A lower division football enthusiast and long-suffering cricket fan, he is one of only 110 people followed on Twitter by Chas Hodges from Chas ‘n’ Dave. Follow Dave on Twitter like Chas: @davefawbert

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