5. A Giant Eyeball
In 2012, a man in Fort Lauderdale, Florida discovered a softball-sized eyeball on the beach. He kicked it around a few times before bringing it home and putting it in his fridge to conserve it while he waited for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission to come and identify it.
With an eye that size unearthed on the beach, rumors began to fly about a giant sea monster hiding off the shore. To the disappointment of locals, the experts soon identified the eyeball as that of a very large swordfish. There’s still a creepy aspect to this story, however. Experts also revealed that the reason the eyeball was found completely separate from the eye of the fish was because someone purposely carved it out.
4. Incredibly Valuable Whale Vomit
In 2006, an Australian couple walking along the beach discovered a huge, smelly rock. Luckily for the couple, they chose to take the 32-pound discovery home. Incredibly, the rock turned out to be ambergris, or whale vomit, and was worth over $260,000.
Ambergris is a waxy substance produced by sperm whales to protect their digestive tracts. Despite being commonly known as whale vomit, it is actually excreted into the ocean and floats for years before washing ashore. Ambergris is so valuable because it’s been used in high-end perfumeries for years. The substance acts as a “fixer,” allowing scents to stay on the skin for longer.
In 2011, a beach-goer in Portsmouth saw a strange figure floating in the surf. Terrified that it was a body, the pedestrian called the police. Police rushed to the scene only to discover that the figure was actually a life-size model of E.T., the friendly alien from the Spielberg film.
It turns out that this strange model was a gift to Margaret Wells from her daughter, who made it as a part of a stage makeup course. The model had been stolen earlier in the year and was welcomed home with open arms.
2. The Montauk Monster
No list of the weirdest things found washed ashore would be complete without a mention of the Montauk Monster. Discovered on a beach in 2008 in New York, the monster has been a subject of controversy ever since. Despite the fact that zoologists quickly identified the monster as a bloated and decomposing raccoon, people have their doubts.
The Plum Island Animal Disease Center is located fairly close to where the bizarre animal was found. This had lead to rumors of strange animal hybrids and experiments gone wrong. To fuel the fire, no one knows where the carcass was taken after it washed up.
1. A Bag of Severed Hands
This one definitely takes the cake for most horrific discovery. On March 8, 2018, a fisherman in Khabarovsk, Siberia noticed a human hand poking through the snow on an island in the Amur River. After further investigation, the man found a total of 54 severed hands that had washed ashore in a bag. Authorities were immediately contacted, as locals understandably began to panic. Rumor swirled of a dangerous serial killer or an organized crime ring.
The Investigative Committee of The Russian Federation soon allayed these worries, however, explaining that the hands most likely came from a local forensics lab. The lab kept hands as a form of identification and, unfortunately for local townspeople, likely improperly disposed of them. The committee promised to conduct a full legal assessment to look further into the incident.