A massive sea creature was found dead near a beach in Indonesia earlier this week, and the images that have emerged from the scene are breathtaking.
The International Business Times reported on Friday scientists and curious visitors have flocked to see the creature’s body and that it’s unclear exactly what kind of animal it is. IBT reported “suggestions range from being a giant squid to a humpback whale.”
The Jakarta Globe, a media outlet dedicated to providing news about Indonesia, reported on Wednesday the sea animal is suspected to be a giant squid and that it has been measured at nearly 50 feet long.
The Globe reported the creature was found on the shores of Seram Island in Maluku province by Asrul Tuanakota, 37, a local resident. Tuanakota discovered the beast while walking on the beach at night, and he reportedly initially believed it to be a stranded boat.
Relatively little is known about giant squids, because they spend most of their time at extreme ocean depths. According to National Geographic, giant squids are the largest invertebrates on Earth, and the largest ever found measured 59 feet in length and weighed nearly a ton. A giant squid’s eye has been measured at about 10 inches.
In May 2016, a Live Science article reported giant squids were considered by many scientists to be mythical until one was photographed alive in 2004.
Although the Jakarta Globe reported the animal to be a giant squid, some scientists are skeptical of the claim. It’s extremely rare for giant squids to wash up on beaches. Some believe the carcass, which had not been discovered until the animal had been dead for a few days, may be a large whale. Whales can grow much larger than giant squids. Blue whales can exceed 90 feet in length, and sperm whales can grow to be as long as 60 feet.