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Mystery Creature Washes Ashore In Alaska (Photos)

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Scientists are baffled after a mysterious creature washed ashore on a remote Alaskan beach.

Wilderness guide Bjorn Dihle stumbled upon the find while kayaking in Berners Bay, Alaska, the Daily Mail reports.

At first, he thought it was part a of a ray. But when he looked closer, it dawned on Dihle he may have discovered the insides of a 12-foot creature.

"When I got to the beach, I quickly realized it was the internal organs of something very large," said Dihle. "The organs looked and felt like a decomposing liver, and smelt like a fish hold that hadn't been cleaned in a while -- a bit like ammonia."

"My first thought was whale guts as it was too large for any other marine mammal," Dihle said.

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Now experts are trying to figure out what animal it belongs it.

Biologist John Moran from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said it's possible it could be the liver of a Pacific sleeper shark, although he would need a tissue sample to confirm his hypothesis.

"I don't think it is mammalian, my first guess would be testis or liver from a sleeper shark," he said. "Second guess would be something internal from a squid, but it seems a bit large for the squid I've seen wash up around here."

If it belongs to a sleeper shark, it would have to be an unusually large one -- and it's not clear how its liver could have been separated from the animal.

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"I've heard rumors of sea lions killing sleeper sharks but I've also heard of the opposite," said Dihle. "The truth is we know very little about sleepers. Killer whales certainly could have killed the animal. It's also possible a fisherman pulled the animal up on a long-line skate and then killed it."

It's not the first time a mysterious creature in Alaska has captured national attention.

In October 2016, a "strange thing" swimming in the Chena River in Fairbanks frightened many.

An Alaska Bureau of Land Management employee in Fairbanks recorded video of the "ice monster" and posted it online, CBS News reports.

"It’s kind of far out in the middle of the river," Alaska's Bureau of Land Management wrote on its Facebook page. "Video was taken right by our BLM Fairbanks District Office facing downstream. We’re not sure what it is. We’re letting you all be the judge."

Some thought it was  Scotland’s Loch Ness monster, while other theories ranged from it being a "giant arctic crocodile" to a "zombie salmon."

Sources: Daily Mail, CBS News / Featured Image: Gillfoto/Wikimedia Commons / Embedded Images: Pen News/Katie McCaffrey via Daily Mail, AFSC/NOAA/Wikimedia Commons

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