VIDEO: A giant eyeball washed ashore on Pompano Beach, Fla. on Wednesday, and no one can figure out what kind of creature it came from
A giant eyeball washed ashore on Pompano Beach, Florida Wednesday, and no one can figure out what kind of creature it came from.
The giant eyeball is blue, larger than a softball, and almost certainly has to have formerly belonged to an aquatic animal of truly astonishing size—giant squid and various species of whale are currently front-runners.
A local man found it while walking along the beach and wisely took it to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. (Admit it, you might just have taken the giant eyeball home and had it preserved in alcohol and prominently and proudly displayed it on your desk at work. OK, that might just be me).
The giant eyeball has been preserved in ice and is being send off to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Research Institute in St. Petersburg for identification, but the public is also invited to get in on the action.
The institute’s spokesperson Carli Segelson told the Associated Press that because the giant eyeball washed ashore it most likely came from a marine animal. They are considering the origins of the giant eyeball to include a giant squid, a whale or large fish.
Clues on origin of giant eyeball
Since I have your attention about the giant eyeball at the moment and would be an utter fool to squander it, here’s some fun facts:
- The colossal squid has the largest eyes (could be considered a giant eyeball) found in nature, says the Museum of New Zealand, and possibly the largest that ever existed in planetary history—yes, that includes dinosaurs.
- The giant eyeball of a colossal squid is about 27 centimeters across. That’s the size of a soccer ball. Using a giant eyeball from a squid as a soccer ball would be unspeakably gross; please don’t do this.
- Why do squid require such grossly enormous eyes? It all comes down to light: creatures that have to operate in dark environments, like colossal squid, need bigger eyes (and pupils) to suck in the minimal amount of light available to them. One of the reasons we know so little about colossal squid is due to their fondness for living and hunting in the darkest depths of the planet’s oceans
- Other animals with an unusually giant eyeball—all of which, not coincidentally, spend most of their time in the dark—owls, bush babies, and tarsiers, to name a few non-aquatic beasties. Seriously, check out tarsiers, they’re a bit ridiculous.