This is one of those things I remember reading about as a kid and it's not until you get older and finally decide to do some quick little research the whole mystery isn't much of a mystery anymore. I'll make this a quick article because after searching for more info, I'm kind of bummed but it's nice to give other people some of my "quality" info so here goes.
This story begins on April 25, 1977 when a Japanese fishing boat, Zuiyo Maru, hauled up a huge carcass. You can see from the picture that it resembles a plesiosaur - the type of extinct dinosaur which is believed to be the true identity of the Loch Ness Monster and other lake/sea monsters around the world. The carcass was picked up off the coast of New Zealand at a depth of 900 feet. It weighed about 4000 pounds and was 32 feet long. There were 18 crewmen aboard the vessel at the time.
One of the crew, Michihiko Yano, took pictures of the carcass and some tissue samples, but unfortunately, the carcass stunk so bad that the crew didn't want to risk contaminating their catch so they chucked it overboard.
The creature became a world-wide sensation and Japan became the center of glory for the discovery of a new sea-monster. Scientists all disagreed from the start - some jumped on the bandwagon and declared it a plesiosaur by looking at the pictures, while shark experts pointed out right away that it was nothing more than a basking shark carcass. Tissue tests revealed that it was most likely a basking shark and the look of the carcass is due to the decomposition effects of that particular shark. Many tests have been done and they do point to it being almost definitely a basking shark.
Yeah, another one lost to science, but there's still always that chance... If you want to know more about the sea monster - I mean basking shark - there's an in-depth article with more pictures and sketches located at www.paleo.cc
. It's well worth a look.
Cryptozoology Main Page
The Astral World Home