On Serum Island, part of Indonesia’s Maluku province, a 37-year-old man was walking down the beach at night, when he saw a strange shape in the water. It was a hulking, drifting mass, and from afar he thought it was a boat. But as he approached, he could see more clearly: whatever this was, it had once been alive.

The massive pile of decomposing flesh measures almost 50 feet long and has washed up onto the shore. Experts believe it died days ago; it’s in such an advanced state of decomposition that it’s hard to tell what it is.

Originally, locals thought it might be a giant squid. But squid aren’t known to roam in these waters, and it now seems most likely it was a giant baleen whale.

From some angles, it’s possible to see some features of this mass of misery, but for the most part it looks like a giant grey blob. As much as the ocean can offer up creatures that seem like horrors to our earth-bound sensibilities, in this case the horror is the reality of death and decay, the inevitable end of us all.