Within a few days experts had identified it as a pike eel, which, though nocturnal, is common in the lake. Furthermore, despite the impressive size depicted in the photo, it was estimated to be about five and a half feet long-a sizeable eel, but somewhat smaller than the maximum length for that species.
So how did a non-monstrous dead eel end up making international news?
Greek 'Sea Monster' Identified
Optical Illusion Part of the reason that the creature seemed like a monster is that it appears huge in Tyndall's photo. It's what in photography is called forced perspective, which tricks the eye into making objects appear to be much larger or smaller than they really are. The eel was photographed at a low angle close to the ground instead of from above, as it would normally be seen by a standing adult.
This helps create the illusion of enormity in several ways: First, it puts the carcass higher in the photo and therefore closer to the horizon line. Things that we usually see close to the horizon are often large (such as trees, buildings, and mountains). Second, the angle obscures the tail, which seems to slide gently into the water and is hidden by the reflection from the sky, subtly suggesting that it's longer than it is. An overhead photograph taken from a higher angle would avoid the sky's reflection and show exactly where the creature's body ends.