Mysterious skull of an enormous sea creature washes up on a California beach. See it


A gigantic skull on a Monterey Bay beach that has visitors posting snapshots to social media poses something of a mystery, a California museum reported.

The skull at Pajaro Dunes State Beach in Watsonville probably belongs to either a fin or blue whale, experts told SFGate.

“They’re both gigantic whales,” Robert Boessenecker, chief paleontologist at the Charleston Center for Paleontology in South Carolina, told the publication. “I mean, they’ve got skulls that are measured in meters rather than feet or centimeters. And they’re quite similar.”

The skull likely comes from a whale carcass that washed ashore in October, the Santa Cruz Museum of Natural History said in a post on X, formerly Twitter. The remains were too badly decomposed to identify.

“An interesting feature has taken up residence on Pajaro Dunes beach and many curious (locals) have been sending us images over the past few months trying to make sense of this behemoth,” the museum wrote.

Experts at the museum suspect the carcass was a fin whale based on the size.

“What remains today is the basicranium (‘base of skull’) with attached partial nares (aka nostrils),” museum officials wrote on X.

“We saw it too! So cool,” read another post on X with photos of the skull.

Fin and blue whales are two of the largest creatures on Earth, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Fin whales can reach up to 85 feet in length and weigh up to 80 tons, the NOAA said. Blue whales can reach up to 110 feet and weigh up to 165 tons.

“This type of nature event is a great opportunity to get people excited about nature,” Felicia Van Stolk, museum executive director, told SFGate. “It is a wonderful reminder that the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary is the home to some truly amazing creatures.”

Watsonville is about 90 miles southeast of San Francisco.

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