Driving along the beaches of southern Australia counts as just another day at the office for Steven Jones – the supervisor of an area fishing crew. After all, his daily treks along the coastline mean that he often catches glimpses of oceanic wildlife. Sometimes the fauna swims by him, while other times it has somehow washed ashore. But on one day in March 2019, Jones came across a specimen that all but beggared belief.
Jones and his team were journeying through Coorong National Park at the time. Initially, the fishermen thought the object was an enormous section of driftwood that had somehow appeared on the beach. That would actually be a stunning enough feat for a trunk or a branch. But as the crew got closer to the figure, they realized that it hadn’t come from a tree at all.
Jones subsequently sent a picture to his partner, Linette Grzelak, to show her the mysterious thing that had washed ashore. Grzelak later told Live Science that, along with the photo, Jones had also sent a description of what he’d discovered. “[He] said it was extremely heavy, and [it] felt hard and leathery like a rhinoceros,” she reported.