WEIRD NEWS
11/26/2013 09:35 am ET Updated Nov 27, 2013

You Won't Believe The Weird Sea Creature Mark Quartiano Caught Off Miami Beach

Imagine going fishing off the coast of Miami -- and instead catching a rare and massive beast that appears straight from the Mesozoic era (or all of our nightmares).

The well-known shark fisherman who snared the 800-pound sea creature below told ABC News it was like "a dinosaur."

“It was very old. It had barnacles all over it,” said Captain Mark Quartiano, a controversial charter boat operator known as "Mark the Shark."

The creature was a whopping 14 feet from head to tail. Quartiano identified the monster as the rarely seen dactylobatus clarkii, or hookskate, according to Local10. The hookskate is a species about which very little is known thanks to its penchant for living on muddy sea bottoms up to 1,000 feet deep.

But it might be something else entirely: GrindTV spoke with George H. Burgess of the Florida Museum of Natural History, who identified the beast as dasyatis centroura, a roughtailed stingray that normally grows only to 660 pounds but packs a punch in its venomous tail.

Either way, the photo of the mysterious creature is jaw-dropping indeed. After hooking it about 500 feet deep while fishing with a Japanese TV crew, Quartiano told Grind he fought for four hours to bring his giant catch to the surface before taking its photo and releasing it back into the ocean.

“It was kind of cool to catch something new for a change," he said. "When we first saw it we didn’t know what it was."

The catch isn't Quartiano's first brush with viral fame: one of his expeditions caught a two-headed shark in September, and he kicked off a controversy last year by posting photos of client Rosie O'Donnell and her children with a catch of now-endangered hammerhead sharks.

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