A huge skeletal 'hand' with long bony fingers has been found by a shocked couple walking along a beach.
Leticia Gomes Santiago and her boyfriend Devanir Souza, were strolling along the shoreline when they stumbled upon the strange find on the sand in Ilha Comprida, São Paulo State, Brazil, on Sunday.
The couple filmed the moment they found the remains, using a pair of thongs to pick it up. The video shows five long 'fingers' attached to a thicker bone, with cartilage apparent between the joints.
“We think it is not human because of the size and amount of bones. What could it possibly be?” Ms Santiago said.
“It's very big," she added, with the size of the 'hand' overshadowing her flip flops. “We don't know what animal it is, and if it's an alien, even worse.”
One local joked that is "looks like ET's hand", while another theorised that it belonged to a mermaid. Another guessed it was a dinosaur bone.
"Take it to a biologist, because this isn't normal," one person added.
Mystery of strange 'hand' solved
Marine biologist Eric Comin said the skeletal hand belonged to a cetacean – an aquatic mammal that includes whales, dolphins, and porpoises – although further tests would be needed to determine exactly which one.
Based on the images and state of decomposition, the biologist said the cetacean probably died at sea around 18 months ago.
Due to its size, Comin said the bones probably belonged to a dolphin, especially as they are commonly found in the region.
The biologist added that anyone who finds animal remains on the beach should notify their local environmental agency.
IPEC spokesperson Henrique Chupill, who also said that the skeleton probably belongs to a cetacean, stated: “We always prioritise leaving the bones on the beach so it does not interfere with the cycling of nutrients within the ecosystem.
“Eventually, when there is some scientific interest, we collect them to be used in studies. If they are recently-deceased animals, we collect them to perform necropsies and identify the cause of death.”
- Jam Press/Australscope
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