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Something's Fishy: Tarboro Woman Digs Up a Mystery

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TARBORO — Tarboro is talking about a strange-looking skeleton that sent neighbors searching for answers.

Blanche Thomasson found the skeleton buried a foot-and-a-half-deep near an Edgecombe County farm.

"I thought it was a pepper or a dried-up vegetable, but I kept digging at it," she said. "It looked like a monster."

She took it to her vet, who did not know what it was.

Some people thought it was an out-of-this-world find, but they noticed that the skeleton had eyes, gills and fins.

Eventually, scientists at East Carolina University identified it as a shovelnose guitarfish, a type of shark that lives in warm waters south of North Carolina. Interesting, but not extraterrestrial.

"I was ready to talk to Geraldo about my find," she said.

A piece of burlap found near the fish may explain why it was there. Thomasson wonders if a collector had preserved the fish before it was buried.