Science/Health

Gigantic decaying sea creature makes the water bloody red on an Indonesian island leaving local residents perplexed

By Mharia Emmareen / 2017.05.15
A decaying baleen whale first thought to be a giant squid is washed ashore on Seram Island, one of Indonesia's islands.

Whatever is making the waters of Seram Island bloody red truly makes the local residents of Maluku province go berserk. A huge sea creature has been washed ashore and was believed to be a giant squid measuring 15 meters long.

Seram Island resident, Asrul Tuanakota first thought the creature to be a stranded boat since he cannot identify it clearly because it was dark when he discovered it. The rare discovery interests numbers of residents to take a glimpse of the dead sea creature in Hulung Beach at Iha village situated in the West Seram district, according to Jakarta Globe.

The decaying sea creature that is washed ashore is believed to be dead for about three days before it was discovered. Local residents thought that the rotten matter is a giant squid.

The executive director of Whale and Dolphin Conservation, Regina Asmutis-Silvia said, "Giant squid are invertebrates and there are clearly bones visible (jaw, skull, vertebrate) so I am very comfortable saying it's some type of rorqual whale."

The executive director also categorized the dead sea creature as a particular kind of baleen whale. It was proven with the 'ventral grooves' that start from the whale's chin to its belly button. These are some sort of expandable tissues when the sea mammal eats.

According to NOAA Fisheries, baleen whales can be identified from other whales because of their paired blowholes and baleen plates. These whale species is named for its extended baleen plates that resemble the teeth of the comb that drape down from its upper mandible.

The baleen plates contain protein just like the protein found in a person's fingernails. These plates are wide at the base and narrow down into an edge that forms a mantle inside the baleen whale's mouth. Baleen whales utilize their baleen plates when feeding to sieve tons of food including krill, small fishes, crustaceans, and zooplankton from the large volumes of water. Until now, the cause of death of the baleen whale is still unknown.

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