An unidentified sea creature has washed ashore in Indonesia’s Maluku province. The colossal carcass was found on Hulung Beach on the westside of Seram Island on Tuesday night by a local man.
In the darkness, Asrul Tuanakota, 37, initially mistook the huge fleshy blob for a stranded boat, according to the Jakarta Globe.
Fishermen in the island’s Iha village are convinced the remains are those of a giant squid while others who have viewed the footage say the stinking mass could also be a decomposing humpback whale.
The bloated 15 metre corpse is believed to have been dead for at least three days by the time it was found. Close up vision shows its discoloured skin turning the waters a disconcerting red as it disintegrates.
Locals have asked the government to help them remove the remains as the stench is getting worse by the day. A group of marine scientists have reportedly taken samples of the creature in a bid to identify it.
Photos and videos of the sea creature have gone viral, and its identity has stumped many locals. People have speculated that it could be a giant squid, or a sperm whale.
Giant squid can grow up till 13m (42 ft) long, while sperm whales average 16m (52 ft) in length.
Marcus Chua, a museum officer at the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum told Mashable that the carcass appears to be that of a baleen whale, a subgroup of whales that include humpback whales and minke whales.
“[Based] on the images and videos, in the advanced stage of decomposition it is not possible to determine whether that is a humpback whale or not,” Chua, who is also a curator of mammals and birds at the National University of Singapore-affiliated museum, added.
The carcass is unlikely to be a giant squid, as there has been no record of giant squid from Indonesian waters, he added.