The rotting carcass of a 4-metre-long 'sea monster' was found on a beach in southern Spain yesterday, and authorities and experts are baffled as to what it could be.
The creature was discovered by a woman near the Almanzora caves in Villaricos, Spain, who apparently found the 'horned head' of the beast first, followed by the body a short distance away.
Authorities took plenty of photos of the foul-smelling remains, and there's conflicting reports about whether samples were taken for analysis, but the creature was buried "for hygiene purposes", according to thinkspain.com.
Remains like these, which have been lumped under the general term 'blobsters' , apparently wash up rather frequently. According to Discovery News, a team of scientists gathered together samples from many of these back in 2004, examined them under an electron microscope and ran them through various types of analysis (including DNA), and found that they belonged to different species of whale.
One of these 'blobsters' that washed up in New Zealand earlier this year turned out to be a killer whale. Experts were able to identify that by its very distinctive flipper.
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What could this creature be?
There are stories of 'serpent-dragons' in Spanish mythology, although those are all from peoples living in the north of Spain. It's a little far away, perhaps, but Cyprus has the Ayia Napa sea monster, although given the apparent look of this 'friendly monster', it would only be one of its many necks and heads that washed up in Spain.
More than likely, though, this will turn out to be something a bit more mundane. There's speculation it could be an oarfish, but Dean Grubbs, an ichthyologist and marine ecologist at Florida State University, told NBC News that it "is definitely a shark skeleton."
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