Upon seeing a photo of the carcass, three marine biology experts — Scott Baker of Oregon State University Marine Mammal Institute, Bill Perrin, senior scientist for marine mammals at the National Marine Fisheries Service, and Bob Brownell, senior scientist for international protected resources with the National Atmospheric and Oceanic Administration's Fisheries Service — all think it's a whale.
Based on its throat grooves, "[we agree] that it's a balaenopterid," Baker told Life's Little Mysteries. "Judging from the reported size of 55 ft., maybe a fin whale. From the photo, however, it does not really look to be 55 ft., and so might be a smaller balaenopterid, like one of the 'Bryde's' whales."
"We all hope somebody collects the bones and a tissue sample for genetic analysis as recovery of whale carcasses is rare along the coast of China," he added.
The beast is tangled in ropes, and locals theorize that area fisherman once caught it but could not haul it in owing to its gargantuan size. According to The Sun, people have flocked to see the sea creature despite its foul stench.