New Zealand engineer Pita Witehira discovered an unusual wake on Google Earth last week, which he attributed to a nearly 40-foot long sea creature.
“The Native Maori would call this a ‘Taniwha’ ('Troll') as it appears not to be a whale and it is far too big to be a shark,” Witehira said. “It is moving too fast and turning too sharply to be a whale.”
Witehira added that he doesn’t believe a boat caused the wake, since no white froth is present in the image.
Witehira was using Google Earth to do research for his holiday home when he spotted a huge unexplained wake in Oke Bay of the Bay of Islands – an area of the Far North District in the country’s North Island. The image was captured by satellite around 11:30 a.m. on January 30.
“I spotted it about a week ago. We have some property near Oke Bay and I’m about to build a beach chalet up there,” Witehira said. “It’s got to have a lot of weight under the water to create that kind of drag.”
Oke Bay has a quiet white sand beach with shallow waters around 130 feet deep with a sudden drop into the bay. Witehira noted that there’s a lot of undergrowth in the deeper parts of the bay.
To compare, you can see that a boat's wake usually does have a white froth, unlike the photo above: