Visitors were greeted by the carcass of a strange creature last week on New Zealand’s Pukehina Beach. The bizarre shape of the creature led many to speculate that the animal was some sort of undiscovered “sea monster” or a deformed whale. According to 3 News, the creature was just under 30 feet long and resembled a prehistoric predator. This is most likely due to the deteriorated condition of the carcass and the sunken flesh around its skull.
Photographs of the curious animal were taken and sent to the Department of Conservation, leading experts to believe that the remains belong to a killer whale, or orca. Marine mammal specialist Anton van Helden told reporters he recognized the species by the distinctive shape of the animal’s flippers, although the cause of death is hard to determine.
The carcass drew a number of visitors during its time on shore, but was soon washed back to sea.
Video of the creature is available below: