© 2024 WKNO FM
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Mystery Solved: 'Softball-Sized Eyeball' Likely Belongs To A Swordfish

Quite a baby blue.
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
Quite a baby blue.

We learned two things this morning: First, experts from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission believe that the softball-sized eyeball that washed up in Pompano Beach, Fla. belongs to a swordfish.

Second: Two-Way readers are incredibly smart, able to solve the most puzzling of mysteries in no time. A hat-tip, a congrats, a toast to Jack Bertram, who upon catching a glimpse of the eyeball on our original blog post, wrote: "Swordfish. Biiig female. Anatomically wrong for giant or colossal squid. Whales have smaller eyes."

(We also have to apologize to Mr. Bertram for misidentifying him on our original blog post. We're sending an NPR mug!)

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

The FWC by the way, points out that the biggest swordfish ever caught in the state weighed 612 pounds and was caught near Key Largo.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Eyder Peralta is NPR's East Africa correspondent based in Nairobi, Kenya.