By Claudia Aoraha

Marine scientists have been left scratching their heads after an unidentified sea creature washed up on a remote beach in Wales last week.

So far, experts have been unable to determine what the faceless, decomposing creature actually is, although scientists are now looking into whether it is a basking shark.

Part of the shark’s pectoral fin. Picture: Marine Environmental Monitoring
Part of the shark’s pectoral fin. Picture: Marine Environmental Monitoring Source: Facebook

The discovery was made on Broad Haven South Beach in Pembrokeshire, Wales, with Marine Environmental Monitoring called in to investigate.

“Due to the ongoing risk posed by COVID we have limited the amount of strandings we attend to only the more unusual ones,” the organization said.

“We got a call to a very large blob that had washed up on Broad Haven South beach.

“Due to the size of it we believed that it could be a whale.

The yellow line shows the spine, which was around seven metres in length. Picture: Marine Environmental Monitoring
The yellow line shows the spine, which was around seven metres in length. Picture: Marine Environmental Monitoring Source: Facebook

“Also, within one of the pictures we had been provided it looked like there was a possible large roll of something within the stomach. Due to this we decided to attend.

“On arriving, it became clear that it was not a whale and instead some form of large fish – around 7m in length.

“Also, the thing that we thought was a large roll of something turned out to be just one of its vertebrate.”

The scientists from the environmental group said “all evidence currently points to it being a basking shark”.

Circle showing one of its vertebrae. Picture: Marine Environmental Monitoring
Circle showing one of its vertebrae. Picture: Marine Environmental Monitoring Source: Facebook

“We have taken several photos of key parts and taken some samples so that we can try and confirm that it is a basking shark,” the organization added.

According to commenters on the organization’s Facebook page, the potential basking shark is the second to wash up on a Welsh beach in the past few months.

“We did try and find the one at Newport to take samples but failed to locate it due to it being taken out by the tide and deposited in different locations each day,” the marine organization said.

The basking shark. Picture: Marine Environmental Monitoring
The basking shark. Picture: Marine Environmental Monitoring Source: Facebook

Samples from the bizarre sea beast are now being sent for testing.

Matthew Westfield, the CSIP stranding co-ordinator for Wales, said: “It’s very difficult to tell for certain what it is because it’s so badly decomposed.

He said: “Basically the whole head element was either decomposed or missing or pointing in the wrong direction.

“We were unable to say, ‘right, there’s the head element of it’ so we suspect it could have been longer.”

Despite the tests, experts believe finding out what killed the strange seabeast will be impossible.

“It’s completely impossible to say what the cause of death was,” Matthew said.

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