Skip to main content
You have permission to edit this article.
Mysterious giant skull washes ashore on New Jersey beach

Mysterious giant skull washes ashore on New Jersey beach

  • 0
Ocean County

A giant skull with something akin to tweezers for a mouth washed ashore in New Jersey, igniting a social media debate over what it might be — and more importantly — what killed it.

The skull — picked clean of all flesh — was found Monday at Island Beach State Park, according to a Facebook post from park officials.

“You never know what you are going to find on the beach after a storm. Our State Park Police found this skull yesterday,” the park wrote on Facebook.

Park staff did not give dimensions of the skull, but a photo shows it stood waist-high alongside an officer and was a couple of feet wide.

The invitation for people to guess what it might be has gotten 2,700 reactions, 2,000 comments and 6,500 shares in the past day.

Many of the commenters guessed it was some kind of whale, which are often picked apart by hungry sharks and other marine life while drifting dead in the ocean.

Some wondered whether it was a giant tooth, rather than a skull. A few pointed out it also resembled the skull of a pterodactyl, the prehistoric flying reptile.

The idea it was floating unseen among Memorial Day vacationers horrified many people on social media.

“Never mind it floating by, I’d be more worried about what killed an animal that size. Scary,” one woman wrote on Facebook.

“Something from (a) lab ... experiments with animals. One got away and appears to have been eaten,” a man posted.

“Seriously it reminds me of a prehistoric bird!” another commenter said.

So what is it?

On Wednesday, the park updated its Facebook post to report it was confirmed to be the lower “jaw and skull of a minke whale.”

As for how it died, that remains unresolved.

Get local news delivered to your inbox!

* I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its user agreement and privacy policy.

Related to this story

Most Popular

The best local coverage, unlimited

Sign up for a digital subscription to The Press of Atlantic City now and take advantage of a great offer.


Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.

PLEASE BE ADVISED: Soon we will no longer integrate with Facebook for story comments. The commenting option is not going away, however, readers will need to register for a FREE site account to continue sharing their thoughts and feedback on stories. If you already have an account (i.e. current subscribers, posting in obituary guestbooks, for submitting community events), you may use that login, otherwise, you will be prompted to create a new account.

Get up-to-the-minute news sent straight to your device.


Breaking News