The remains of a hairy, white sea creature that washed ashore Wednesday afternoon on a beach on Dinagat Island in the Philippines created a buzz among the locals of Barangay Poblacion and on social media.
Most speculated it was a sea cow. Some said it resembled an Old English sheepdog. The creepy beast measured 20 feet long and, as it sat on the shoreline, became the subject of many selfies, photographs and videos.
Sky News reported that the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources at first believed it could be the remains of a sea cow. But after testing samples it was determined to be the carcass of a whale in an advanced stage of decomposition, according to the Sun Star. The type of whale was still being determined.
Specimen samples were also sent to the laboratory of BFAR-Manila to determine the cause of death. One thought was that it might have been hit by a ship.
Whatever the cause, it was a disturbing sight for some who saw the carcass as a bad omen.
Many Facebook users said they are worried that the dead animal could be a harbinger of earthquakes.
Following the magnitude 6.7 earthquake that hit Surigao City, photos of dead oarfish have widely circulated on Facebook, with many indicating that the mass deaths may have indicated a coming tremor.
[Sufenia] Chua [of the Cagianao Municipal Agriculture Office] said they were still investigating the animal's cause of death and that residents may have panicked over the carcass because they do not recognize it.