A bizarre giant fish has found off a beach in Australia and it has been drawing attention from both locals and internet users.
Look, if you were strolling down a lovely Australian beach and suddenly found a festering pile of flesh about as tall as Lebron James and almost 100 pounds heavier, you’d think it was a sea monster, too. Twitter exploded late Thursday over claims of the “Monster Fish” in Bundaburg after photos and a video of the seemingly unidentifiable decaying blob went viral.
The fish — if you can even call it that — is roughly 6 feet and 5 inches long and weighs about 150 kilograms, reported ABC on Wednesday. Whatever it was, it took John and Riley Lindholm, a couple taking a casual beach stroll, by surprise on Tuesday.
“I’ve seen a lot of fish, and a lot of big fish, but I’ve never seen anything like it,” John Lindholm told ABC.
Lindholm, who says he used to be a charter skipper and has plenty of experience with fish, can’t be blamed for his confusion. Because of its extensive decay — in the video below, you can see flies buzzing around the corpse — it’s barely clear which side is up.
Nevertheless, some keen-eyed fish fanatics noted its spiny dorsal ridge (down its back) is still intact, which was a hint that the corpse indeed belonged to a fish that was fairly familiar in those waters. While some people on Twitter suggested it might be a coelacanth — an ancient fish long thought to be extinct until it was discovered in 1938 — officials finally cleared up the confusion on Thursday. (For what it’s worth, coelacanth is a pretty good guess, but those fish don’t have the spiny dorsal ridge.)
— Jess Lodge (@jess_lodge) March 8, 2018
In an interview with Australia’s NewsMail, Queensland Boating and Fisheries Patrol District Officer Geoffrey Fergusson solved the mystery: the fish was a Queensland Groper. Sometimes referred to as giant groupers (and occasionally as “gropers” in Australia), these fish are the largest dwelling reef fish in the world and have been known to grow to up to 8.8 feet and weigh up to 880 pounds. Monstrous, indeed.