The rotting remains of a 50-foot-long dead sea animal washed up on a beach in Indonesia recently– while locals took photos with their mobile phones, the pictures of the mostly unidentifiable remains took off around the world, according to The Washington Post.
George Leonard, the chief researcher at the Ocean Conservancy, told The Huffington Post that the remains probably were those of a baleen whale — based upon its skeleton and the presence of baleen, a filter-feeder mouth system.
Decomposition gases bloated the whale, and a few of the noxious gases were seeping out.
Seram, the largest island in the Maluku Island group, is near the migration paths for baleen whales.
Residents have asked the federal government to assist in the removal of the probable baleen whale carcass. Live Science notes that dead whales typically sink to the bottom of the ocean– supplying food for years for the creatures that live at lower sea depths.
The publication theorized that the whale had a bacterial infection that produced an overload of gases or that it perhaps passed away in warm waters, permitting bacteria to collect and gases to broaden its body. It also could have passed away from an unnatural death after being clipped by a ship.
Meanwhile, the photos of the mysteriously massive sea creature have gone viral. Many observers have been pondering the authenticity of the photos and speculating on the creature’s identity.