The world's most famous giant blue mystery eyeball will soon come to St. Petersburg.
A man spotted the softball-sized peeper Wednesday in Pompano Beach. News of the find from the Broward County shoreline, and stunning photos of it, quickly spread around the globe.
Contrary to published reports that the object had already arrived in St. Petersburg, Fish and Wildlife Research Institute spokesman Kevin Baxter said Saturday it likely won't be brought here for several more days.
Speculation about its origin has run rampant.
Giant squid immediately became a popular choice but, to the disappointment of Jules Verne fans, that's been ruled out. Baxter said investigators found bone around the eye, which means it couldn't have come from one of the eight-tentacled cephalopods.
The bone, it seems, also means a Jaws-sized, one-eyed shark isn't cruising the coast.
"Our people believe it's from a large fish of some kind," he said, "but we're still trying to nail down its identity."
Baxter wouldn't guess which large fish, but lots of other people have.
At least three major news outlets in the United Kingdom have picked up the story. The Guardian, headquartered in London, talked to a shark expert in Gainesville who said the eyeball belonged to a swordfish. Hedging, perhaps, the newspaper also reported it might have come from a sailfish or a marlin.
The Toronto-based National Post ran a story online that suggested, among several options, a whale.
InformationNigeria.org quoted an expert who also conjectured that it may have come from a swordfish.
A definitive answer should be had within the next few weeks.
Scientists at the research institute on Eighth Avenue SE plan to run a series of tests to determine from what animal the eyeball was plucked.