Beachgoers in Pompano Beach, Fla. stumbled upon a giant eyeball that had apparently washed up on shore, leaving wildlife officials bewildered, NBC News reported. Former Los Angeles Times outdoors reporter Pete Thomas wrote on his blog that the eyeball could have belonged to a bigeye thresher shark.
Thomas was allegedly sent an email from George Burgess, an expert on sharks and shark attacks and member of the Florida Museum of Natural History on late on Thursday, that supposedly said that the bigeye thresher shark was a likely candidate for what is described as a softball-sized eyeball. "My guess is that a fisher did a bit of dissection at sea then was reminded it was illegal to possess even 'parts,' " Thomas claims Burgess said.
The mysterious giant eyeball was found and reported to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission on Wednesday by Gino Covacci, who discovered the sea creature body part on his normal morning walk along the beach, reported the Orlando Sentinel. Not knowing what it was, Covacci kicked it over and realized that it was a giant eyeball, then placed it in a plastic bag and refrigerated it.
"It was very, very fresh," Covacci said Thursday, according to the Sentinel. "It was still bleeding when I put it in the plastic bag."
After contacting the police, Covacci was referred to the FWC, which remains unaware of what animal the giant eyeball belongs to. Experts will be using genetic testing to figure out exactly where the giant eyeball came from.
"I shouldn't say this, but they may be able to eyeball it," FWC spokeswoman Carli Segelson said. "It's just gone viral," Segelson said about the finding dubbed “the mystery eyeball” and its online appeal after being posted to the FWC Facebook page.