Beachgoers were dumbfounded when a 32-foot- (10-meter-) long mysterious, decomposed creature was found in the shallow waters off Maasin City on Leyte Island, in the Philippines, in September 2017.
The decomposed remains of this unknown animal was a baffling sight. Not only did the strange beast, with its large head and grayish skin, confound beachgoers, it also puzzled experts from the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources.
Julius Alpino, from the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, explained that the odd-looking carcass could not be identified due its advanced state of decomposition according to a report by The Dailymail. However, he thinks this animal, reportedly the length of a fighter jet, could be a whale.
Nujnuj Capistrano, a then-42-year-old photographer, posted snapshots of the sea beast on Facebook on Sept. 21.
“I was just passing by the beach and took some photos but I don’t know about the details. I was surprised because it’s too big and it’s the first time I saw that kind of creature,” Capistrano said.
“I don’t know what they did with it but one thing is for sure, the creature was already dead when I saw it. The smell was too bad. I can’t describe it, but it was a bad smell,” he added.
Unsurprisingly, the post on this creature caught many social media users’ attention, who were curious to know what this large, mysterious creature was. The post was shared 5,000 times and received some 1,400 comments.
One social media user wrote, “Looks like an Architeuthis Giganticus to me.”
While another commented: “Biologists, try to check if it is a bongkaras. Around the time of World War 2, my father sailed between Bohol and Mindanao and he said it was common to see huge sea creatures called bongkaras. I don’t know exactly what these bongkaras looked like, but he said the whale sharks in Oslob, Cebu don’t look anything like the bongkaras he saw then. ”
“It looks like a colossal crocodile haha!” a third one commented.
And then there are those who just labeled it as a “sea dragon,” or “sea monster.”
However, it still remains a mystery what this bizarre corpse was, but it apparently smelled so bad that it was declared a health hazard. Thus, city officials decided to tow the dead animal out to the deep sea, as it could not be buried due to its size.
However, this isn’t the first time peculiar sea beasts have been washed ashore in the Philippines. In February 2017, a 20-foot-long huge, hairy creature was found washed up on the shore of the Dinagat Islands.
According to National Geographic, the 4,000-pound (approx. 1,814-kilogram) creature was covered in long shaggy white hair. “It’s definitely a very decomposed sea creature in the later stages of decomposition,” Lucy Babey, head of science and conservation for the animal charity Orca, told the BBC.