Mystery Solved! Beach Eyeball Believed to Come From Swordfish

Wildlife officials say genetic testing being done to confirm giant eyeball found on beach came from swordfish

By Brian Hamacher
|  Monday, Oct 15, 2012  |  Updated 8:14 AM PDT
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The giant eyeball that washed ashore in Pompano Beach this week has people talking. So what is it? It could have come from a giant squid or a swordfish, said Assistant Professor Heather Bracken-Grisson, a marine biologist at Florida International University. The eye has been to St. Petersburg for testing.

The giant eyeball that washed ashore in Pompano Beach this week has people talking. So what is it? It could have come from a giant squid or a swordfish, said Assistant Professor Heather Bracken-Grisson, a marine biologist at Florida International University. The eye has been to St. Petersburg for testing.

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Florida wildlife officials believe the giant eyeball that washed ashore in Pompano Beach last week came from a swordfish.

Genetic testing is being done to confirm the mystery eyeball came from a swordfish, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission said Monday.

“Experts on site and remotely have viewed and analyzed the eye, and based on its color, size and structure, along with the presence of bone around it, we believe the eye came from a swordfish,” Joan Herrera, curator of collections at the FWC’s Fish and Wildlife Research Institute in St. Petersburg, said in a statement. “Based on straight-line cuts visible around the eye, we believe it was removed by a fisherman and discarded.”

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The softball-sized eyeball was discovered on Wednesday and set off a slew of guesses as to what kind of sea creature it came from. Guesses included a giant squid, whale or some other unidentified fish.

Swordfish are commonly fished in the Florida Straits offshore of south Florida at this time of year, the FWC said. Swordfish in the Atlantic can reach a maximum size of over 1,100 pounds and can be found from the surface to as deep as 2,000 feet.

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