Sailors Spot A Mysterious Sea Creature Floating Near Their Boat, But What Is It?

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If you see something mysterious floating in the water, it's usually due to something totally explainable: An old shoe, a dead animal, a capsized boat. From far away, these things look intimidating. Up close, they're usually nothing that impressive. But in this instance, the floating object in question is not only confusing, but downright terrifying: In other words, finding out what it is might even be scarier than leaving it a mystery.

It all started when some sailors in the Persian Gulf spotted the large mass in the distance. They got a bit closer, only to realize that the stinky mass of rotting…something…was basically unidentifiable. They posted pictures of the mass to Reddit, and the Internet sleuths of the world quickly got to work identifying it. They may not agree on what they found, but everyone can agree on the fact that this finding is totally bizarre. Check out the photos and wager your own guesses below.

It all started when Iranian sailors spotted this floating in the water.

Curious, they all came in for a closer look — but no one could figure out what it was.

It all started when Iranian sailors spotted this floating in the water.

Frankly, we can't either.

It’s impossible to identify at first, but we do know a few things. For starters, it’s massive. Secondly, it looks like something from another planet. And lastly, it’s actually kind of terrifying.

Frankly, we can't either.

Speculation bounced back and forth, and especially when the images hit the Internet.

Everyone was guessing what it could be, with many assuming it was either an alien or some kind of carcass.

Speculation bounced back and forth, and especially when the images hit the Internet.

According to reports, it also had an awful smell.

This makes a good case for it being a carcass, but then again, it could still be something out of this world. This incident recalled a strange occurrence that had happened when a Japanese fishing boat brought in a strange carcass, which turned out to be a basking shark.

According to reports, it also had an awful smell.

So after the image went viral on Reddit, someone figured it out.

They decided it was the same kind of animal as the one found in Japan. “I wish the pictures were a bit bigger so I could wager a guess at what kind it was, but it’s hard to make out.”

According to this Redditor, there were two characteristics of the carcass that gave it away

According to him, the blackened skin and vertebrae of the carcass made a good case for it being a basking shark.

According to this Redditor, there were two characteristics of the carcass that gave it away

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Other animal experts disagreed.

It seems the opinions on what this animal could have been when it was alive were divided.

Other animal experts disagreed.

One biologist actually thought it was a whale.

The Huffington Post reached out to Dr. Gary Griggs, director of the Institute of Marine Sciences at the University of California, Santa Cruz, for a second opinion.

One biologist actually thought it was a whale.

Here's what Griggs had to say:

“From my knowledge and experience with whales and their skeletons, it is clearly a whale. Although with the condition of the body, it’s difficult for me to determine what kind of whale.”

Here's what Griggs had to say:

Strange that an animal could decompose to the point of being virtually unrecognizable.

But whatever it is — or was, rather, it’s certainly a fascinating find.

Strange that an animal could decompose to the point of being virtually unrecognizable.

What do you think?

Is it a whale, basking shark, or something else entirely?

What do you think?

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