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October 15, 2012

Giant eyeball came from a swordfish

The mystery is over. The giant eyeball that washed ashore on a Broward beach last week belongs to an unlucky swordfish.

The mystery is over. The giant eyeball that washed ashore on a Broward beach last week belongs to an unlucky swordfish.

Researchers at the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission said Monday that the softball-sized blue orb likely was cut from a swordfish — commonly fished in South Florida waters — not a giant squid, whale or unidentified sea monster. More testing still has to be done to confirm the finding.

“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,” said Joan Herrera, curator of collections at the agency’s Fish and Wildlife Research Institute in St. Petersburg. “Based on straight-line cuts visible around the eye, we believe it was removed by a fisherman and discarded.”

Genetic testing will be done to confirm the identification.

A Pompano Beach man came across the eyeball as he was walking on the beach last Wednesday. He said it was fresh and bloody.

State researchers bagged the eye and sent it off for testing later in the day.

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