Ancient mystery: Did fishermen catch a dinosaur and throw it back?

(Video) A massive mysterious creature was found in a Japanese fisherman's net. They threw it back due to its strange odd nature and strong smell.

  (photo credit: INGIMAGE)
(photo credit: INGIMAGE)

When the crew aboard Nadig Moshe's vessel stumbled upon the remains of an unidentified marine creature, they believed they had stumbled upon a modern-day dinosaur. However, after capturing several photographs and obtaining samples from the decaying 10-meter-long carcass, weighing in at 1,800 kg, Captain Akira Tanaka chose to scrap it back into the ocean, owing to the horrendous odor that permeated the ship.

While those aboard the fishing boat were convinced they had encountered an unclassified species, Captain Tanaka decided to avoid jeopardizing the rest of their catch by discarding the find.

How did the creature look?

The creature, as described, featured an elongated neck, four prominent red fins, and a 2-meter-long tail. Despite the chest cavity's absence of internal organs and the exposed intestines resulting from decomposition, the flesh and fat remained intact, facilitating the extraction of amino acids for further examination.

Numerous researchers, including scholars from the Universities of Yokohama and Tokyo, postulated that the creature might be a mythical sea serpent, often called a sea dragon or a prehistoric plesiosaur. This ancient reptile coexisted with dinosaurs but went extinct approximately 66 million years ago, boasting some colossal members such as the 15-meter-long, 45-ton Pliosaurus.

This discovery generated fervor and ignited a "plesiosaur frenzy" across Japan, prompting the shipping company to dispatch all available vessels in pursuit of the discarded remains. Regrettably, their endeavors proved fruitless.

Did everyone agree?

Yet, not all experts were swayed. Swedish paleontologist Hans-Christian Biering commented, "Should the Japanese samples indeed encompass fins and skin, a simple microscope examination could provide insight into its true nature. Unveiling an entirely unknown marine creature would be as significant as the 1938 coelacanth discovery... However, skepticism is warranted regarding the plesiosaur claim, given the drastic changes in marine ecosystems since the era of these creatures."

Echoing these sentiments, marine specialist Eva Persson stated, "Our research attests that plesiosaurs were notably larger and respired through lungs. The notion that such a creature could remain concealed for this duration is implausible."

Subsequently, researchers scrutinizing the samples reached a tentative conclusion. While the exact identity of the carcass remains elusive, the prevailing hypothesis leans toward it being a colossal bony fish or a closely related species. During decomposition, the lower head region, dorsal fin, and tail of shark carcasses degrade first, culminating in a plesiosaur-like appearance.