Feeds

GIANT EYEBALL PANIC ends: Oceanic peeper identified

Sadly, alien origin debunked

Business security measures using SSL

The giant eyeball that washed up on a Florida beach last week has been identified, quelling fears of a new monster swimming in the vasty deep.

Researchers at the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) report that the eye has been positively identified as coming from Xiphias gladius, or as it is more commonly known, the swordfish, which is fished privately and commercially off the Florida coast.

"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 FWC's Fish and Wildlife Research Institute in St. Petersburg, Florida. "Based on straight-line cuts visible around the eye, we believe it was removed by a fisherman and discarded."

One question that remains, however, is why the unknown fisherman saw fit to cut out his prey's eye. Commercial fishermen typically use a circular saw on swordfish to cut off the head, pectoral fins and tail, to cut down on storage space – there's be little reason for a private fisherman to remove the eyes from a carcass.

The swordfish has such huge eyes because of the large range of depths in which it hunts. Xiphias gladius seeks out prey species up to 2,000 feet down, although at night it feeds closer to the surface. The huge eyes have evolved to deal with low-light environments, and swordfish are one of the few fish species whose bodies produce heat around the eye to improve vision.

Now that the eyeball-from-the-briny-deep mystery has been solved, Floridians can go back to worrying about other mystery animals, such as the St. Augustine Monster or Two-Toed Tom. ®

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
PORTAL TO ELSEWHERE scried in small galaxy far, far away
Supermassive black hole dominates titchy star formation
Boffins say they've got Lithium batteries the wrong way around
Surprises at the nano-scale mean our ideas about how they charge could be all wrong
Edge Research Lab to tackle chilly LOHAN's final test flight
Our US allies to probe potential Vulture 2 servo freeze
Europe prepares to INVADE comet: Rosetta landing site chosen
No word yet on whether backup site is labelled 'K'
Bacon-related medical breakthrough wins Ig Nobel prize
Is there ANYTHING cured pork can't do?
Cracked it - Vulture 2 power podule fires servos for 4 HOURS
Pixhawk avionics juice issue sorted, onwards to Spaceport America
City hidden beneath England's Stonehenge had HUMAN ABATTOIR. And a pub
Boozed-up ancients drank beer before tearing corpses apart
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL
Discussing the vulnerabilities inherent in Wi-Fi networks, and how using TLS/SSL for your entire site will assure security.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.