Strange Fish Washes Ashore

hunck

Antediluvian
Joined
Jul 13, 2011
Messages
5,957
Reaction score
8,612
Points
284
Location
Hobbs End
Mystery 23-foot sea beast weighing four tonnes found on beach in Wales

The colossal creature was found on Broad Haven South Beach in Pembrokeshire, Wales, last week and reported to the UK Cetacean Strandings Investigation Programme (CSIP).

Matthew Westfield, the CSIP stranding co-ordinator for Wales, said: “It’s very difficult to tell for certain what it is because it’s so badly decomposed.

“It died at sea and had been dead for a while before it washed up on the beach, so it would have come in with one of the high tides.”

And though Mr Westfield identified a spine, measuring some 23 feet long, even the animal’s true scale is uncertain.

“So initially we thought it was going to be a whale but when we actually got there and did an exam on it, it became clear that it definitely wasn’t.

“The initial clue was the smell of rotten fish. Decomposing fish smell different to decomposing whales.

“Then we got closer and we had a look at the bone structure which indicated that it definitely was not a whale and it was going to be some sort of fish.”

Mr Westfield now believes the remains to be of a basking shark, but he still can’t be sure.

He continued: “We’ve taken pictures, we’ve taken a couple of samples, and we’ve sent them off to the Natural History Museum and some of the specialist teams there, along with London Zoo.

“We just have to wait and see what happens.”
The creature was found on Broad Haven South Beach in Wales



 

Sharon Hill

Complicated biological machine
Joined
Dec 16, 2014
Messages
846
Reaction score
1,665
Points
139
Location
Pennsylvania, USA
Mystery 23-foot sea beast weighing four tonnes found on beach in Wales

The colossal creature was found on Broad Haven South Beach in Pembrokeshire, Wales, last week and reported to the UK Cetacean Strandings Investigation Programme (CSIP).

Matthew Westfield, the CSIP stranding co-ordinator for Wales, said: “It’s very difficult to tell for certain what it is because it’s so badly decomposed.



The creature was found on Broad Haven South Beach in Wales



Interestingly, the focus of this article is about proper ID. No suggestion, really, that it's some unknown sea monster - a refreshing change.
 

Mythopoeika

I am a meat popsicle
Joined
Sep 18, 2001
Messages
44,080
Reaction score
36,085
Points
309
Location
Inside a starship, watching puny humans from afar
I'm going to take a guess and say large seal or sealion.
 

hunck

Antediluvian
Joined
Jul 13, 2011
Messages
5,957
Reaction score
8,612
Points
284
Location
Hobbs End
I'm going to take a guess and say large seal or sealion.
I always enjoy your guesses. With a spine 23 ft long & not including the head which is missing, as Souleater says that's a heck of a big seal/sealion. Even large Bull Elephant seals only reach around 20 ft.

Also, the report says it's some sort of fish.
 

Souleater

Justified & Ancient
Joined
Jan 10, 2021
Messages
3,103
Reaction score
5,247
Points
203
Im guessing some type of Oarfish, purely because its always an Oarfish lol
 

hunck

Antediluvian
Joined
Jul 13, 2011
Messages
5,957
Reaction score
8,612
Points
284
Location
Hobbs End
Im guessing some type of Oarfish, purely because its always an Oarfish lol
The CSIP man thinks possibly a basking shark. The headline says 4 tonnes although how they come up with this figure I don't know. Could be just Mirror guesswork. Oarfish can weigh up to 300 kg if you look up online - they're relatively slender..
 

Souleater

Justified & Ancient
Joined
Jan 10, 2021
Messages
3,103
Reaction score
5,247
Points
203
The CSIP man thinks possibly a basking shark. The headline says 4 tonnes although how they come up with this figure I don't know. Could be just Mirror guesswork. Oarfish can weigh up to 300 kg if you look up online - they're relatively slender..
Are those not teeth in the second pic? If they are then not a basking shark which only has tiny hooked teeth plus a shark has a cartilaginous skeleton
 

Souleater

Justified & Ancient
Joined
Jan 10, 2021
Messages
3,103
Reaction score
5,247
Points
203
Really not sure what that 'fish' carcass could be, the description doesnt fit any known species of bony fish, the heaviest being a Sunfish at around 2 tons and 3m (10.5 ft approx) and the longest being an Oarfish at 15m (50 ft approx) long but only weighing approx 544kg, the Oarfish averages 7.2m (23ft approx) but only weighs in at 270kg
 

Stillill

Abominable Snowman
Joined
Feb 8, 2014
Messages
530
Reaction score
881
Points
99
Location
London
The CSIP man thinks possibly a basking shark. The headline says 4 tonnes although how they come up with this figure I don't know. Could be just Mirror guesswork. Oarfish can weigh up to 300 kg if you look up online - they're relatively slender..
Judging by the footprints in the sand for a sense of scale I’m pretty sure that weighs a lot less than four tonnes.
 

Mythopoeika

I am a meat popsicle
Joined
Sep 18, 2001
Messages
44,080
Reaction score
36,085
Points
309
Location
Inside a starship, watching puny humans from afar
Judging by the footprints in the sand for a sense of scale I’m pretty sure that weighs a lot less than four tonnes.
Yes, it doesn't look like 23 feet long.
 

hunck

Antediluvian
Joined
Jul 13, 2011
Messages
5,957
Reaction score
8,612
Points
284
Location
Hobbs End
Yes, looking at the photo, 4 tonnes looks like an exaggeration. Re length, if that is it's backbone curling round, it could be 23 ft long - hard to tell. It'll be interesting to see what the NHM/London Zoo have to say - hope the outcome will be reported.
 

Sharon Hill

Complicated biological machine
Joined
Dec 16, 2014
Messages
846
Reaction score
1,665
Points
139
Location
Pennsylvania, USA
The local marine group is pretty certain it's a basking shark. According to Marcus Hemmler, there was also a carcass in Wales discovered last December.

Screen Shot 2021-03-05 at 10.38.31 AM.png
 
Top