The stinking rotting corpse of an unknown, “horned sea monster” found on the Luis Siret Beach in Villaricas, Spain the other day allowed imaginations to run rampant for a bit as people the world over speculated on its mysterious origins. However, after careful examination, marine scientists have confirmed that they are not so mysterious after all.
While there was some speculation that it might be the remains of a rarely seen oarfish (aka king of herrings), the “longest bony fish” known to man at a maximum length of 56 feet, ichthyologist Dean Grubbs of Florida State University has identified it as the carcass of a thresher shark (known for its long tail) instead. According to Grubbs, the so-called horns are nothing more than “scapulacoracoids, which support the pectoral fins.”
Although thresher sharks generally prefer open waters no deeper than 1600 feet, they have been spotted along coastal waters along the continental shelves of North America and Asia of the North Pacific.