Unidentified animal caught in the net of fishing vessel off New Zealand. (Taiyo Fishery Co./Michihiko Yano) On April 25, 1977, the Japanese fishing ship Zuiyo Maru, trawling for mackerel off the coast of New Zealand, snagged a rotting corpse at a depth of 900 feet and hauled in the remains of a beast that no one anywhere seemed to be able to identify.
"It's not a fish, whale, or any other mammal," said Professor Yoshinori Imaizumi of Japan's National Science Museum, in the Asahi Shimbun newspaper story that broke the news to the world. "It's a reptile, and the sketch looks very like a plesiosaur. This was a precious and important discovery for human beings. It seems to show that these animals are not extinct after all."
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