Rose Fraser was walking along Browns Beach in New Zealand when she spotted a large white lump.

“I first saw it from a distance and I thought: ‘That’s a big white rock on the shore line … that wasn’t there four days ago’.” As she got closer to the object, her reactions shifted immediately from something that could possibly be from the sea to the sky.

“I must admit, I thought: ‘Heck, this is an alien’. It looks like it’s got big ribs coming out of it, but it looks like they could be tentacles, so I don’t know.”

Cautiously, and ready to run should the thing suddenly leap into life, Miss Fraser lobbed a rock at it, then prodded it with a stick. Whatever it was, it sat there, not moving. All it did was emit a slight odour.

Photos of the then unidentified object was sent to the Department of Conservation in Wellington, who sent it to Niwa and Te Papa. It was also sent to Otago University’s whale experts. After a flurry of emails a consensus was reached…

In the end it was uncovered that the white foul smelling white blog was in fact just the top – essentially the stuffing – of a sperm whale’s head.

It is not yet known what will happen to the blob of whale remains.