Mystery giant eyeball found on Fla. beach

Oct. 12, 2012 at 5:14 PM
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POMPANO BEACH, Fla., Oct. 12 (UPI) -- A giant eyeball that washed up on a Florida beach this week is probably that of a large squid, wildlife experts said of the softball-size peeper.

The mysterious eye washed up on Pompano Beach where it was found by a beachcomber who gave it to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission on Wednesday, National Geographic reported.

FWCC scientists put the impressive eye on ice and forwarded it to the Fish and Wildlife Research Institute in St. Petersburg, Fla.

Commission spokeswoman Carli Segelson said researchers would use genetic testing to determine what kind of creature the eye came from.

Robert L. Pitman, a marine biologist with the National Marine Fisheries Service in La Jolla, Calif., who was sent a picture of the eyeball, said he could offer a likely suspect.

"It probably is a squid eye -- other things with eyes that big (fish, cetaceans) have them imbedded in hard tissue. Squid eyes are in relatively soft tissue and more likely to dislodge as in the photo you sent. A quick DNA analysis could easily sort it out for you," Pitman said in an email message to the National Geographic.

However, Segelson said she wasn't so sure.

"From what I understand there appears to be bones around the eye, so that would rule out a squid." Segelson said.

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