MIAMI (AP) — The giant, blue eyeball that washed up on a South Florida beach likely came from a swordfish, wildlife officials said Monday.
Based on its color, size and structure, along with the presence of bone around it, experts believe the eye came from a swordfish, according to statement from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
"Based on straight-line cuts visible around the eye, we believe it was removed by a fisherman and discarded," said Joan Herrera, curator of collections at the commission's Research Institute in St. Petersburg. Swordfish are commonly fished in the Florida Straits offshore of south Florida at this time of year.
Genetic testing will be done to confirm the identification.
A man found the softball-size eye on Wednesday while taking a morning stroll along Pompano Beach just north of Fort Lauderdale, creating a buzz on the Internet. Those in the marine biology community were making their own predictions: that it came from a deep sea squid based on the eyeball's lens and pupil, or from a swordfish.
The highly migratory fish can be found from the surface to as deep as 2,000 feet. Swordfish in the Atlantic can reach a maximum size of over 1,100 pounds, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Swordfish feed on a wide variety of fish and invertebrates.