The creature that recently washed ashore at Higgins Beach in Scarborough, Maine, has baffled researchers, and frankly horrified many others.
“Some blob of something had washed up on the shore,” local beachgoer Chris Blair told News Center Maine. “It was pretty gross.”
At 15-feet long, marine biologists from Marine Mammals of Maine believe the blob is not a whale, but possibly a basking shark, which raises even more questions. Whales, being covered in blubber, are more likely to float on the water’s surface, while sharks tend to sink once they’ve perished.
“It’s something that’s not unusual, and it’s too bad that we didn’t get to take a look at it because those things are kind of cool to investigate,” shark expert from the University of New England, Dr. James Sulikowski told News Center Maine.
The creature’s vertebra and rib cage are exposed, while most of what else is left has been either deteriorated, or been bleached from the sun and seawater.
“It smelled like a bad, hot day at a fish market,” said Blair. “It was pretty foul.”
It took the help of a beach clean-up crew and a bulldozer to remove the creature’s remains from the public area. According to NECN, the carcass will be buried at a nearby landfill.
Matthew Russell is a West Michigan native and with a background in journalism, data analysis, cartography and design thinking. He likes to learn new things and solve old problems whenever possible, and enjoys bicycling, going to the dog park, spending time with his daughter, and coffee.