A mysterious giant eyeball found on a Florida beach last week had scientists scratching their heads. The world wondered — could the bright blue sphere belong to a whale, giant squid, or some kind of undiscovered sea cyclops?
Now researchers believe that the softball-sized eye most likely came from a swordfish.
This conclusion was based on the eyeball’s “colour, size and structure, along with the presence of bone around it,” Joan Herrera from the Fish and Wildlife Research Institute in St. Petersburg said in a statement Monday.
Swordfish, which can reach up to 1,100 pounds, are common in south Florida so this guess would appear sound.
The next question is how the eyeball ended up in the ocean. According to Herrera, “based on straight-line cuts visible around the eye, we believe it was removed by a fisherman and discarded.”
So a fisherman probably caught the fish at sea, cut the eyeball out while dressing it, and threw the body part into the ocean.
DNA testing still needs to be done to confirm that the eye came from a swordfish.
The large eyeball, which appears to be about the size of a grapefruit, is shown below. We assume it comes from a fish on the large end of the spectrum.
Photo: Florida Fish and Wildlife
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