A huge, mysterious fish, thought to weigh around 330 pounds and measuring six feet long, has washed up on a beach in Queensland, northeastern Australia.
The gruesome specimen was first spotted by husband and wife John and Riley Lindholm who were looking for seaside properties on Moore Park Beach when they came across a “big lump.”
Lindholm, a chartered skipper who has spent his life around fish, said he had never seen one so big and did not know what species it belonged to.
"I've seen a lot of fish, and a lot of big fish, but I've never seen anything like it," Lindholm told ABC News. "I thought it might have been a grouper, but it just doesn't seem to fit with what other people up here have told me."
He said the couple posted on the beach’s community Facebook group to see if anyone could help to identify the strange sea creature. Some speculated it was a cod, while others suggested it was a fish known as a tripletail.
“I've seen whales wash up on the beach but the size of this and the kind of fish it was, it took my breath away," he said.
Lindholm said the fish showed no signs of injury, making it difficult to tell how it died. He suggested it had probably reached the end of its life naturally.
"What's surprising is the fact that it is here, because there's not a lot of reef close to this beach,” Lindholm told Australia's News Mail.
On hearing about the fish, the Queensland Boating and Fisheries Patrol (QBFP) consulted with experts at the Queensland Museum in an attempt to identify the species of the fish, according to a QBFP spokesperson.
The spokesperson said it was difficult to definitively identify the fish due to the poor condition of its body, although it may well be a grouper, as some had already suggested.
"How the fish came to be washed up on the beach and its cause of death also could not be determined," the spokesperson said.