When the remains of a strange sea creature washed up on a beach in Acapulco, Mexico, marine biologists were flummoxed. Could it be a giant squid, a whale or a sea monster of historic legend?

Turns out it was just a whale.

An administrator with the Protección Civil y Bomberos, Sabás de la Rosa Camacho reported the find to Mexican news site 24 Hours, explaining that it measured 14 meters long. The remains did not have a foul odor, though it looked as though it had decomposed quite a bit from a lengthy float in the water.

Weather patterns and strong winds had apparently driven the remains to shore. A video of the corpse posted to the group’s Facebook page has been viewed more than 300,000 times. A man can be seen in the video prodding the mass and rolling back portions of the skin. 

After much debate and consternation, a marine biologists is pretty sure it’s part of a sperm whale head. James Mead, curator emeritus of marine mammals at the National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C. told Discovery LifeScience that its likely the top half of the head mass of a sperm whale. 

The bottom section of a sperm whale head is comprised of connective tissue known as “junk.” 

“The junk has separated from the skull, and you can see about midway through the video the nasal plugs, which form the valve that closes the bony narial tube,” Mead said.

The biologist estimated the whale’s full body was likely 30 to 40 feet long. 

Earlier this year, a mysterious skull bone was revealed to be from a shark and last year a giant oarfish washed up on Catalina Island to much surprise. 

Photo credit: 24 Hours

 

 

Protección civil y Bomberos de Acapulco Reporta, un animal marítimo desconocido hasta el momento, en las playas de la bonfil.

Posted by Protección Civil y Bomberos de Acapulco on Wednesday, March 9, 2016