An unknown sea creature with a furry tail and a long dolphin-like nose has washed up on the shores of Russia’s Sakhalin Island. Marine experts are scratching their heads as they try to identify what the sea monster is.
The unknown animal’s image was first published in the Siberian Times and instantly sparked debate among locals and experts alike.
The images depict the creature’s carcass as a bloodied mass of bones that have been exposed following multiple attacks from predators.
The creature has a matted coat of fur on its long tail. It measures in at about the size of an adult human being.
Marine experts are stumped and have not been able to identify the animal’s species. But they note that it does seem to have similarities to the dolphin.
“Judging by the appearance of the head, this is clearly some big dolphin,” Nikolay Kim, Deputy Head of the Forecasting Department of the Sakhalin Research Institute of Fisheries and Oceanography, told The Siberian Times. “According to a characteristic of the skin, it is a rare species.”
Professor David Smith, a marine expert at Essex University, came up with an interesting hypothesis.
According to Smith, the creature could be a “pre-historic specimen frozen for thousands of years in the permafrost” that might have only been uncovered recently because of climate change, MailOnline reports.
Although the creature resembles a dolphin, the matted fur continues to baffle experts. Out of the 40 species of dolphin found around the world, none have fur.
“I can confidently say that this is some kind of a dolphin,” Kim said. “However, it has fur. It’s unusual. Dolphins do not have any fur.”
When the images were shared on social media, users joked that the dolphin needed a coat to keep warm in Russia.
“Probably, our summer is so cold that even the Indian Dolphins getting into local waters, are covered with fur,” one user wrote.
Contrary to everyone else’s opinion, Alex Rogers, professor of conservation biology at Oxford University says the animal is probably a giant-beaked whale.
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