A rotting, nine-metre long “sea monster” has washed up on a New Zealand beach.
With its jagged teeth and large flippers, beachgoers believed they had come across a “pre-historic” creature, Sun Live reported.
A video of the gruesome find was posted on YouTube by user Elizabeth Ann, who requested help in identifying it.
She wrote: “This strange marine creature was washed up dead on Pukehina Beach in the Bay of Plenty last week after some violent storms.
“Can anyone help identify what it is? It has a huge head and teeth with rudimentary flippers. It seems about 9M in length but the lower part of the body is probably mainly entrails from an attack.”
Suggestions in the comments section ranged from a saltwater crocodile to a giant moray eel.
But marine expert Anton van Helden says the carcass is most likely to be the remains of a killer whale.
He told New Zealand’s Channel 3 he believes it is an orca thanks to its distinctive flipper, but he was unsure of how it died.
Killer whales are among the most wide-ranging animals on the planet, inhabiting waters from polar regions to the Equator, according to National Geographic. They are renowned predators that live in groups, called pods, whose hunting behavior has been compared to that of wolf packs.
Luana Lovell-Dewes, who is one of the bikers who found the animal told the channel: “That’s boring isn’t it! It’s not the prehistoric animal I thought!”