Marine animal's softball-sized eyeball washes up on Florida beach

This Thursday, Oct. 11, 2012, photo made available by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission shows a giant eyeball from a mysterious sea creature that washed ashore and was found by a man walking the beach in Pompano Beach on Wednesday. No one knows what species the huge blue eyeball came from. The eyeball will be sent to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Research Institute in St. Petersburg. (AP Photo/Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, Carli Segelson)

This Thursday, Oct. 11, 2012, photo made available by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission shows a giant eyeball from a mysterious sea creature that washed ashore and was found by a man walking the beach in Pompano Beach on Wednesday. No one knows what species the huge blue eyeball came from. The eyeball will be sent to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Research Institute in St. Petersburg. (AP Photo/Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, Carli Segelson)

MIAMI — Word that a giant eyeball washed up on a South Florida beach has created a buzz on the Internet and in the marine biology community.

The huge, blue eyeball may have come from a deep sea squid or a large sword fish, said Heather Bracken-Grissom, an assistant professor in the marine science program at Florida International University in Miami.

A man found the eyeball while taking a morning stroll along Pompano Beach just north of Fort Lauderdale. He contacted state wildlife officials, who took possession of the softball-sized eyeball.

As soon as pictures hit the Internet on Thursday, Bracken-Grissom said she started talking with her colleagues.

"Any time something weird and crazy washes up on the beach, it's definitely interesting," she said.

The professor and her colleagues concluded that the eyeball's lens and pupil are similar in shape to that of a deep sea squid. She noted that a deep sea squid's eyeball can be as large as a soccer ball and can easily become dislodged.

The mystery likely won't be solved until testing on the eyeball is completed at the Florida Fish and Wildlife Research Institute in St. Petersburg.

"It's going to be very interesting to see what the genetic analysis shows," Bracken-Grissom said.

She said news of the giant eyeball traveled quickly. Relatives from California even called, asking her opinion.

"Something like this gets the public very excited about the mysterious realm of the ocean," she said.

  • Discuss
  • Print

Comments » 0

Be the first to post a comment!

Share your thoughts

Comments are the sole responsibility of the person posting them. You agree not to post comments that are off topic, defamatory, obscene, abusive, threatening or an invasion of privacy. Violators may be banned. Click here for our full user agreement.

Comments can be shared on Facebook and Yahoo!. Add both options by connecting your profiles.

Features