No doubt you have seen the lonely big eye in the sea story by now. A giant eyeball washed ashore on a Florida beach and then the internet went crazy. So what is it? I emailed Sönke Johnsen a Professor of Biology and colleague of mine at Duke University. Sönke is an expert on everything visual in marine organisms including transparency, cryptic coloration, bioluminescence, ultraviolet protection, and of course vision. He responded
I’m fairly sure it’s just the eye of a large [Xiphiidae or Istiophoridae], likely a swordfish or marlin. They get seriously big, but people don’t realize it because most of the eye is inside the head.
He then went a step further and then emailed a few of his colleagues
talked with some colleagues — definitely a swordfish eye
There you have it. New reports on the eye also mention the presence of bones which obviously rules out the giant squid!
So does this mean I win the internet?