Biologists are struggling to identify the decomposing carcass of what appears to be a “sea monster” in Villaricos, Spain. According to grindtv.com, a woman swimming along the shoreline of Luis Siret Beach first found the head of the creature, adorned with what appeared to be two roughly symmetrical horns. The swimmer then discovered the rest of the animal a short distance away, which was retrieved and buried by local authorities due to worries that the carcass could present a hygiene issue.
Digital Journal reports that scientists from the Programa en Defensa de la Fauna Marina (PROMAR) are trying to gain access to the remains for study. Although photos of the carcass are being circulated among researchers, DNA analysis remains the best bet.
“We have no idea what it can be, but it smelled bad, because it was so badly decomposed,” Civil Protection Coordinator María Sánchez told local news. “PROMAR experts are trying to find out what it could be.”
After the story broke, popular speculation listed either an oarfish or thresher shark as possible candidates, as well as the usual list of mythical creatures such as dragons or the Loch Ness Monster. PROMAR spokesman Paco Toledano believes that the “horns” of the creature are actually bones.
“It’s hard to know what we’re dealing with,” Toledano told ideal.es. ““It’s very decomposed and we cannot identify what it is […] we have submitted the information to colleagues with more experience and knowledge to see if they can tell us something more specific.”