Mysterious Eyeball Found on Beach

Giant 'mystery eyeball' discovered on South Florida beach

"The discovery of an enormous eyeball on a South Florida beach begs a very pertinent question: What kind of creature did it belong to? The "mystery eyeball," as it's being referred to by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, was found Wednesday by a beachcomber on Pompano Beach."

The only person quoted in this story who knows what he's talking about is George Burgess, the marine biologist who runs the International Shark Attack File. He suggests a bigeye thresher shark, which looks like this:

Update: Further speculation in Saturday's Christian Science Monitor:
"An assistant biology professor at Florida International University in Miami on Friday said the blue eyeball may have come from a deep sea squid or a large swordfish. Heather Bracken-Grissom says the lens and pupil are similar to the shape of a deep sea squid's eye. She notes that the squid's eyes can be as large as soccer balls."


  1. Yeah, I'd say thresher shark too:

  2. I'm just wondering how the eye got preserved while the rest of the shark (or whatever it was) got --eaten? detached? decayed? Must be some tough membranes.

  3. I was going to ask you the same thing XD Usually the eyes of dead animals are among the first things to be eaten/dissappear.

  4. I do remember that we used to remove the eyes of frogs when we were dissecting them and bounce them like rubber balls. They were very tough--but I always guessed that was somehow caused by being preserved in formaldehyde. In the wild, I can only remember one case in which I found the eye lasting well into the process of decay. (For those who haven't seen, I wrote about it here: Maybe things are different in the marine environment? I don't have much hands-on experience with that.

  5. Now I must take my words back and say Im leaning towards swordfish as well; I took a look at a swordfish's skeleton/skull and they have kind of a bony ring that supports the eye, as did ichthyosaurs back in the day. That may explain why the eye seems mostly intact despite being detached...

  6. Interesting--but the question then becomes, how did the eye get removed from the bony structures without being ruined?

    1. Apparently, being cut by humans...

    2. You called it, Croco. Here's the Florida Wildlife page:
      It contains a slideshow of stills as well. Apparently the bony orbit was still partly intact around the eyeball, which helps explain why it held together so well.


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