Zuiyo-Maru Monster

A comparison of a Basking Shark and a plesiosaur


Zuiyo-maru carcass.

In April 1977, thirty miles off the coast of Christchurch, New Zealand, the tawler's nets of a Japanese fishing boat, the Zuiyo-maru, snared a huge animal carcass of an unknown origin. The crew hauled the monstrous body out of the ocean onto the deck, and the ship's assistant production manager measured the creature and took some now-famous photographs. The creature was 33 feet long and weighd about 4000 pounds. It had a snakelike head at the end of a long, slender neck, giving it an unwhale-like appearance. After great difficulty, the stinking carcass was thrown over board. Media attention in Japan focused on the plesiosaur-like appearance of the creature. Interest in Sea Serpents rose. Tests done on samples of the carcass that were taken by the crew determined the Zuiyo-maru "monster" was just a decomposed basking shark, or something similar.