It’s consistently disappointing that crap news outlets (and sometimes even not-so-crap) ones will speculate wildly and wrongly about a mystery carcass and fail to ask (or to correctly quote) an expert in marine animals. We all know why — it’s because “sea monster” stories get attention and get re-run in the Daily Mail and the Mirror, just like this one.
With fur on its tail and twice the size of a human being, no one yet knows what the animal is.
But we know what it ISN’T! A monster.
Source: Remains of sea creature washed up in Far East (This source, the Siberian Times is a repeat offender of posting truly ridiculous monster stories for hits. DN does not consider this a worthwhile source for any news. But since the story is out there, Al thought we should put our two cents in.
Al the Anomallama rates this story about a Russian sea monster as CLICKBAIT NONSENSE.
Don’t be gullible! This is clearly a cetacean – some kind of whale, possibly a beaked whale lying with it’s lower jaw facing up. Why do I think that? Because these stories pop up constantly (see TetZoo link below). The photos are poor. More detailed photos should have been taken to help with an identification. But, typically, photos are taken by someone who is unfamiliar with animals and assumes that this is strange. It’s not. Dead whales and other sea creatures wash up half-decomposed quite frequently.
The “bird beak” is its snout. The “fur” is degraded connective tissue fibers.
It’s irresponsible for any news outlet to promote a mystery when there will be a reasonable answer to this questions forthcoming. However, you probably won’t hear that answer because “MONSTER” is the only thing they wish to promote.
The Siberian Times suggests it could be an exotic river dolphin. There is no need to go there. Whales are common here so why use an exotic as a possibility. This isn’t the first mysterious carcass in the Sakhalin islands. This one from 2006 was identified as a beluga whale. It was also called a “monster” and is still promoted on websites as the mysterious “Sakhalin Carcass”.
Here is an older story about another Russian carcass with a similar head that had a strange interpretation.
Every now and again a carcass of a large marine animal washes up on a beach somewhere: local people and journalists identify it as a monster, and all hell breaks loose. Inevitably, the carcass turns out to be a decomposing whale or shark.
If anyone can more precisely ID the new animal, please let us know.
And make sure you tell people who post this story… it’s a whale.
CONFIRMATION: Zoologist/paleontologist Dr. Darren Naish identifies it as a Berardius beaked whale.