Mysterious sea beast that weighs four tonnes washes up on beach

Mysterious sea beast that weighs four tonnes and stretches more than 23ft in length washes up on beach in Wales

  • The creature was found on Broad Haven South Beach in Pembrokeshire, Wales 
  • Experts were unable to identify the remains which had started to decompose
  • Samples have since been sent for testing in a bid to identify the mysterious beast

A mysterious sea beast that weighs four tonnes, stretches more than 23ft in length and has no face has washed up on the coast.

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

Photographs taken at the scene appear to show the remains as a grey husk with bone-like elements showing through parts of the carcass.

There are no obvious features of the creature’s biology that are identifiable – with no head or limbs apparent. 

But Matthew Westfield, the CSIP stranding co-ordinator for Wales, was able to identify a spine which measured some 23 feet (seven metres) long. 

Experts were still unable to identify the remains, which had already started to decompose, and samples have since been sent for testing. 

The creature (remains pictured) was found on Broad Haven South Beach in Pembrokeshire, Wales, last week

Photographs taken at the scene appear to show the remains as a grey husk with bone-like elements showing through parts of the carcass

Mr Westfield 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.’

He continued: ‘Basically the whole head element was either decomposed or missing or pointing in the wrong direction.

‘We were unable to say, ‘”right, there’s the head element of it” so we suspect it could have been longer.’ 

Explaining how he had been called to the scene, Mr Westfield said: ‘Basically I got a report of a blob – a huge thing that washed up on a beach.

There are no obvious features of the creature’s biology that are identifiable – with no head or limbs apparent

The sea beast (remains pictured) is thought to weigh four tonnes na dstretch more than 23 feet in length

‘And the lady that actually reported it to us had done a bit of research and had initially come back saying that she thought it might have been a basking shark.

‘Well by the pictures we initially didn’t think so because of the size of it and because it is rare to get basking sharks wash up on the beaches around Wales.

‘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.’

Experts are yet to identify the remains, which had already started to decompose, and samples have since been sent for testing

Matthew Westfield, the CSIP stranding co-ordinator for Wales, conceded that knowing what killed the sea beast would likely never be known

Mr Westfield now believes the remains to be of a basking shark but he still cannot be certain.

He said: ‘We couldn’t say 100 per cent because there are other species it could be, even including the whale shark – which is actually a bit bigger but then it could have been a juvenile. 

‘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.’ 

But he conceded that knowing what killed the sea beast would likely never be known.

He said: ‘It’s completely impossible to say what the cause of death was. It could be anything from its age, to bycatch, to injury to anything else.’

The remains must now be either buried where they are, removed from the beach in chunks or left for nature to take its course.

Strandings can be reported to CSIP through their telephone hotline, 0800 652 0333.

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