Humanity’s preoccupation with grizzly, nightmarish creatures of the deep has been passed down through the generations. The ocean is a vast and uncharted habitat, chock-full of strange and unpleasant creatures. We all love a monster, right up until the point that it eats us, and if that monster happens to come from the vast depths of the ocean’s unexplored chasms, then all the better, all the scarier, all the more compelling.
It might be tempting – and reassuring – to imagine that the sea monsters depicted in fiction are just that; a romanticised and exaggerated artistic license, with no bearing on reality. But the truth is that there may well be weird, unusual and entirely alien-looking creatures roaming the deep sea, that our brightest mind’s are utterly unaware of. Take the enormous 50 ft long sea creature that has been discovered washed up on the shoreline of an Indonesian island, for example.
Whatever it is, one thing is for certain; it is enormous. The creature was discovered by 37-year-old local Asrul Tuanakota off the coastline of Hulung Beach on the Indoesian Seram Island. Indeed, it is so vast in stature that Tuanakota initially thought that it was a grounded coat, bobbing on the sea’s surface.
Numerous theories have about the identity of the washed up leviathan have been suggested. Giant squid can grow up to an astonishing 42 ft in length, and sperm whales average a huge 52 ft, a length that falls closely in line with the discovered creature. Videos posted by locals appear to show the giant bulk slowly decomposing, lending the surrounding water a dark red hue as it does so in an eerie scene.
It is thought that the creature had died over three days ago; residents are flooding to visit the enormous cadaver, while it has been reported that marine scientists were appointed to take collect samples on Thursday. Local military officials are watching over the corpse, with concerns growing among locals that the disintegrating being could contaminate the immediate vicinity.
While the species of the unfortunate creature still remains a mystery, an expert told Mashable that it is most likely to be the remains of a baleen whale; Marcus Chua, who is a museum officer at the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum added that the corpse was unlikely to be that of a giant squid, as there is no evidence of the species residing in Indonesian waters.
It’s relatively common for whales to float to shore following their death, if they are not first consumed by sharks or other opportunists at sea. For those of us hoping to witness a real-life sea monster then, it seems that we might have a little while longer to wait for our morbid appetite to be sated – though discoveries like this one will do nothing to abate our fascination. If that day does ever come, though, I will be the first one running in precisely the opposite direction, screaming and terrified.