A massive 'white hairy beast' washed up on an island in the Philippines, baffling locals as to what it was. Several images of the unknown creature were widely shared on the social media that showed the 4.5m-long mystery mass on the shores of the Dinagat Islands. One of the social media users described it as a "white hairy beast".
After examining its skin samples, the scientists have identified the creature to be most likely a dugong or sea cow. Sufenia Chua, from the Cagdianao Municipal Agriculture Office, told ABS-CBN that dugongs had previously been sighted in the area a number of times. The officials from the Municipal Environment and Natural Resources are currently examining the carcass to determine the cause of death and the species.
Dugongs are herbivorous marine mammals. They are generally found in warm coastal waters, ranging from the western Pacific Ocean to the east coast of Africa. Usually, these dugongs grow to about 3m in length and weight between 250 and 900kg. The largest ever recorded was just over 4m long.
According to experts, when these marine mammals die, their bodies normally sink to the bottom of the ocean and other creatures feed on the flesh. Depending on reasons such as tides and others, their bodies wash up on the shore.
In this case, there are speculations that a recent earthquake might have caused the dugong to be pushed ashore. However, the experts believe that the unusual blob-like appearance of the creature might have been caused due to its advanced stage of decomposition.