Tag Archives: marine cryptids

#27 – Megalodon

SHARKS. Sharks are fucking boss and anyone who’s seen Jaws knows it. They’re the death machines of the sea, tearing into everything and anything, refusing to stop moving because not moving around killing the shit out of things causes a shark to instantly drop dead with a terminal case of being a pussy. If they were people they’d have mullets and wear leather and would punch the femur straight out of a cop’s leg just because they felt like it and goddamn it, they’re motherfucking sharks and sharks can do whatever they want and they’ll kill you if you say otherwise. I read that in a book and it’s a fact and if you don’t agree with facts then you’re Sarah Palin and an idiot.

800px-Carcharodon_carcharias

Coincidentally, this is also what Dick Cheney’s sperm looks like under a microscope.

Thanks to a combination of its sheer size, the movie Jaws and over a hundred recorded unprovoked attacks on humans, the Great White is undoubtedly the most recognisable and feared fish currently living in the world’s oceans. Personally, given the fact that humans kill on average anything from 25 to 100 million sharks every year, I consider us to be the significantly bigger dicks. Seriously significantly. Just for the sake of this comparison, humans are Terry Crews and sharks are Mary Berry. Do you get what I’m saying? I imagine Terry Crews has a cock like an overweight daschund in a Christmas stocking, and Mary Berry is a sweet old lady who bakes cakes and has a vagina. That’s how much sharks are getting screwed in this comparison. No surfer deserves to get eaten, but Toothy McMurderson pictured above could chow through forty babies a day and still add very little weight to the sharky end of the karmic scale. If you don’t believe me, just look at the pictorial evidence I’ve just fabricated to enhance my tortured metaphor.

Mary Berry, pictured here choking on defeat and daschund hair.

On the left is Terry Crews. On the right is Mary Berry, pictured here choking on defeat and daschund hair.

To balance things out, what the sharks really need is a secret weapon – a shark so unbelievably badass that it could eat a whole beach full of fat, sunburnt assholes for every poor shark lifted out of the sea and finned for soup. Such a shark definitely existed at one point, and some eager cryptozoologists are convinced it could still exist today. A close relative of the Great White, Megalodon Carcharias is the largest shark to have ever lived, having reached a conservative estimate of around 15 metres in length and a speculated maximum of 20:

We're going to need a bigger FUCKING ISLAND TO FUCKING LIVE ON AND NEVER LEAVE, EVER.

We’re going to need a bigger ISLAND TO FUCKING LIVE ON AND NEVER LEAVE, EVER.

The grey and red sharks pictured above are the larger and smaller size estimates for Megalodon. The purple one is a whale shark (note the word ‘whale’ in there, for connoisseurs of words used to describe fucking big things) and the harmless little green fella is the modern Great White. The little waving guy is, presumably, a midmorning snack.

Like just about every other cryptid, the ‘evidence’ for the ongoing existence of massive unknown sharks doesn’t amount to much more than anecdotal witness testimony. Just about every sane scientist going is convinced that Megalodon is a murderous nightmare confined to our planet’s ancient history, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t other large sharks out there still waiting to be discovered, sometimes entirely by accident. The filter-feeding megamouth shark was a completely unknown quantity until it was first snagged in a net in 1976, and to this day there have only been 55 confirmed specimens or sightings of it.

Very few people realise that after Rainbow, Zippy ended up skinned for his fur and preserved in formaldehyde.

Very few people realise that after Rainbow, Zippy ended up skinned for his fur and preserved in formaldehyde.

Perhaps the most famous ‘mystery shark’ sighting occurred in 1918 in the waters off Broughton Island, Australia. Ichthyologist David Stead interviewed a group of fishermen following their reported encounter with a massive shark that tore through their crayfishing setup, making off with “pots, mooring lines and all”. Even accounting for some seriously overexcited exaggeration, the shark was vast – one fisherman claimed it was longer than the wharf on which the men stood as they told their story, which was a significantly more than titchy 115 feet long. Furthermore, the beast was a uniform ghostly white, and had ‘boiled’ the water it thrashed through. Stead believed the men to be earnest in their descriptions, and his confidence in them was bolstered by the fact that they refused to return to the sea for days afterwards.

It’s very likely there are still a fair few large marine animals still waiting to be discovered, but for whatever reason, Megalodon is the monster most fervently hoped for by cryptozoologists and shark nutters. It’s featured in countless books and at least one mind-shittingly awful movie, Megashark Vs Giant Octopus, in which it leaps thousands of feet out of the sea in order to bite a fucking passenger jet out of the sky:

Image blurred to protect the identities of the special ed children who wrote the script for this movie.

Image blurred to protect the identities of the special ed children who wrote the script for this movie.

As an often-repeated example of evidence for Megalodon‘s continued existence, there’s controversy over some of the fossil evidence for the shark. Being fish with skeletons made of cartilage, pretty much the only part of a shark’s anatomy sturdy enough to survive the fossilisation process are the teeth. Generally believed to have died out in the Pleistocene around 1.5 million years ago, sceptics have argued that mineral deposits on some Megalodon teeth aren’t consistent with that timeframe, and seem to put them at a much more bed-wettingly recent 10,000 years old. So if you’re the kind of idiot stupid enough to take his scientific cues from terrible movies on the Syfy channel, I suggest you don’t board a Boeing 747 anytime soon.

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#24 – The Kappa

As a general rule of thumb, if you are a small child frolicking in the local waterways without adult supervision, there’s a good chance that you’re going to die. Rivers, reservoirs and lakes have all kinds of hidden snags and currents and hypothermia-inducing temperatures that make them thoroughly unsafe places to dick about in, and every year all over the world they claim the lives of hundreds of unprepared swimmers that either weren’t old or smart enough to take those risks into account.

Not the most hilarious start to a humorous blog, I’ll admit. Tell you what – let’s lighten it up a bit with some proper comedy:

Actually, this is far worse than any number of dead kids.

Actually, this picture is far worse than any number of dead kids.

The reason I bring it up (the dead kids, I mean, not Rob Schneider’s nipple – I have no excuse for that) is that when it comes to monsters and cryptids, often the psychology behind the folklore is just as interesting as the potential existence of some weird new animal. It’s a common theory that a lot of the lake monsters and water imps from local legends all over the world are actually a psychological hangover from hundreds of years of concerned parents trying to get their dickhat kids to stop jumping into dangerous rivers. Stories of murk-lurking beasties grabbing at ankles from the riverbed form a sort of ‘don’t do that, you daft cunt’ warning from the days before those rubbish ‘no bombing’ signs by the side of the pool. Back in the halcyon years when children’s entertainment involved going outside rather than sitting on their pimply arses and trying to invent new racial slurs for Mexicans on Xbox Live, the best way to get your little bastards to behave themselves was to scare the living shit out of them – the Kappa is the Japanese method, a much-reported water monster the tales of which have been terrifying children out of the streams and ponds in that part of the world for centuries.

Pokemon were a lot weirder in the 17th century.

Pokemon were a lot weirder in the 17th century.

The Kappa is a truly intrinsic part of the Japanese national identity, and even has its own idiom; “a kappa drowning in a river” is often used as a way of suggesting that even experts make mistakes. They’ve been blamed for all sorts of horrible crap over the years, from the drowning of children through to rape and the eating of livers and – I shit you not – the killing of victims in order to steal their shirikodama, a mythical ball that contains a person’s soul. A mythical ball that contains a person’s soul that is apparently located in your anus.

Or at least, that's what his Craigslist advert claimed.

Or at least, that’s what his Craigslist advert claimed.

At the less sinister end, they’re also said to peek up kimonos and fart loudly whenever people pass, just because hey – if you’re going to be an anus-rummaging turtle rapist, you’ve got to know how to have a good time. They’re seen as trickster spirits, and to this day a lot of Japan’s open stretches of water are signposted with warnings of potential Kappa attack rather than the sane option of “YOU MIGHT FUCKING DROWN HERE” that the rest of the world has opted for.

Obviously, should the Kappa turn out to be a real animal, you can pretty much guarantee that they don’t really fart intentionally, rape women, or speak Japanese like the mythology suggests. It’s even claimed that they’re experts in medicine, and that friendly Kappa taught the early Japanese the art of setting broken bones – presumably as an apology for all the pelvises they shattered in their frantic search for magical arse-balls.

Of course, it’s been the case for pretty much all of humanity’s time on Earth that we’ve applied bullshit magical powers to a lot of the animals we’ve encountered. Gods and monsters often have a factual basis in the animal kingdom, and the Kappa could be no different. They’re said to swim like fish but have distinct arms and legs ending in webbed hands, walking bipedally on land when they venture on to it. They also have a distinct plate on their head and monkey-like faces, sometimes with a beaked mouth and odd manes of hair, and are said to be the size of a small child. In my search for another picture to show you, I found this one, and don’t ask because I haven’t got a fucking clue what’s supposed to be going on here either:

That's one hell of a shirikotama he has there.

That’s one hell of a shirikodama he has there.

I’ve included the Kappa here because they don’t seem to be content with being confined to mythology, and contemporary accounts of real-life encounters with them still happen every now and then. In 1978 two construction workers named Makoto Ito and Toshio Hashimoto were fishing off a stone seawall in Yokosuka when a Kappa popped its head above water and looked around – Ito later described it as “not a fish, an animal or a man. It was about three feet in height and covered in scaly skin like a reptile. It had a face and two yellow eyes that seemed to be focused on us”.

From the sound of it, the two of them were lucky to get away with their tackle intact.

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#18 – The Lusca

If we sat down to think about the typical places we’d expect to encounter enormous monsters, most of us would probably picture a hellscape like a steaming, isolated jungle. Or a desert wasteland. Or the blood-covered set of Funhouse with the dessicated corpses of the twins swinging from ropes in the breeze. The point I’m making is that very few of us would blurt out a tropical island paradise like the Caribbean, but that’s exactly where you should expect to encounter the Lusca.

THE HORROR. And mojitos, presumably.

THE HORROR. And mojitos, presumably.

Of course, the most terrifying irritant you can expect to encounter on land in the Caribbean is not a cryptid, but some retard in a floral shirt named Tag who drinks rum out of a coconut and insists on calling you ‘brau’ when he pesters you to go surfing with him. And should you be unfortunate enough to encounter such a man you’ll be more than entitled to hope that the Lusca would just drag him off to the abyss, but unfortunately that hasn’t happened since the 15th century.

The man who would later write Columbus’ biography, Pietro Martire d’Anghiera, described in a book in 1500 the time a few years prior that a ‘monster’ rose from the Bahaman sea and dragged a man off the beach to his death. Although the creature wasn’t described, it’s probably the earliest recorded example of an encounter with the Lusca, nicknamed by the locals as “Him of the Hairy Hands”. Local fishermen have feared the legend of the colossal octopus for hundreds of years, and rather worryingly, short forays onto land to grab at shit they want to eat are a well-documented aspect of octopus behaviour.

Of course, the open ocean around one of the busiest and most popular tourist spots in the world wouldn’t be the most sensible place for a kraken from your nightmares to stash itself away. Any self-respecting monster needs a corner to itself to raise baby monsters and snack on fishermen in peace, and the ‘blue holes’ throughout the limestone plateau surrounding the Bahamas provide just that:

'Neptune's Bumholes' didn't catch on as a name, unfortunately.

‘Neptune’s Bumholes’ didn’t catch on as a name, unfortunately.

Essentially sinkholes in the sea, there are thousands of these caverns, many of them linked by underwater passages snaking their way through the rock. Fishermen have reported their strongest lines being broken by an unknown massive animal that resembles a 50-foot octopus, including even the steel cables on crab traps. Jacques Costeau himself, fascinated by the legend, even took time out of huffing garlicky brie-farts in an enclosed wetsuit to lead an expedition in search of the Lusca. The only relevant photographs captured on that attempt featured ‘an indefinable stretch of brown flesh’, which is the colour you’d expect from an octopus, and not the typical red of giant squid.

Other more excessive accounts have the Lusca pulling down entire boats, belching the undigestible wreckage back to the surface once it’s picked the tasty bits out of the debris. The nickname ‘Him of the Hairy Hands’ even makes sense, as it may be a reference to the fringes of cirri all over the tentacles of certain octopuses. In terms of sheer size, however, at 50 feet the Lusca would dwarf even the largest known giant octopus:

Yeah, go ahead and poke it, I'm sure everything will be fine.

Yeah, go ahead and poke it, I’m sure everything will be fine.

Some have argued that there might be a scientific explanation for the vanished boats in the blue holes – sudden tidal changes can occasionally suck water back through the caverns, causing large rolling whirlpools easily powerful enough to drag down a stray swimmer or small boat. When the currents reverse, a mushroom-cloud like belch of water rises to the surface, which could account for the way the monster appears to fart the unwanted bits back once it’s finished attacking. I should think seeing that happen to a couple of mates a few hundred years ago would fairly rapidly put the freeze-dried shits up anyone watching and give rise to a monster legend, but it doesn’t account for the fact that something big is still snapping lines and stealing crab traps all around the cave system to this day.

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#16 – The Ningen

I’ve made a point of retelling most of the anecdotal evidence in this blog without questioning its credibility. I’ve done so for the simple reason that I’m not out to debunk or criticise, and instead just want to have a laugh with some of the stories – however, even I have to hold my hands up every now and then and go “oh fuck off, this one’s got to be nonsense”.

I lean towards at least wanting to believe a cryptid encounter story when there are real, accountable people behind it. In order to tolerate the ridicule involved with cryptid sightings you have to be either a very committed hoaxer or genuinely believe that you saw something unusual. If you’re willing to put your head above the parapet and take the inevitable ensuing shitstorm of publicity right in the eyes and mouth, then I’ll give you the respect you deserve and listen to your story. Provided, of course, that you rinse your face and use a little mouthwash first.

The stories of the Ningen have no such accountability – reports are vague, with no specific names involved, and all the evidence comes from artists’ interpretations and clearly photoshopped pictures. However, the creature is still somewhat of an internet sensation, presumably because the Ningen has got to be one of the creepiest suggestions for a big unknown sea monster going:

This, kids, is why you should never going diving on LSD.

This, kids, is why you should never go diving while off your tits on LSD.

Admittedly, that’s one of the most extreme and exaggerated examples of a Ningen picture out there, but that doesn’t stop it being it the utterly ridiculous brainchild of a mouthbreathing spoonbanger who presumably attempts to eat trifle with his forehead.

Although all are entirely vague, most accounts of the Ningen date from around 2007 at the earliest. The crews of Japanese whale research vessels (knowing Japan, these are presumably just researching which whales are the most delicious) have apparently had several encounters with the strangely humanoid Ningen in the Antarctic Ocean. Described as ghostly white and 20-30 metres in length, the most striking features are the human-like faces and ‘arms’, which in the most absurd accounts even end in five-fingered hands. Five-fingered hands, of course, being the most efficient form of locomotion to possess in the fucking sea, which is why all humans can outswim sharks and not one of us has ever been eaten by one.

Less extreme anecdotal evidence for the Ningen seems to suggest a giant ray or manta, which would at least explain the human-like face if seen from beneath. Others have explained them away as a combination of iceberg sightings and overexcited human stupidity, which seems to be a distinct possibility for this picture from Google Earth that a Japanese magazine apparently ran while discussing the creature in 2007:

ningen2

I’m so convinced right now.

There are lots of factors that count against the Ningen when weighing up its potential credibility. The fact that it’s such a comparatively modern sensation and the lack of specificity in the anecdotal evidence are just two of them, but it’s also not helped by the pictures people keep making of the damn thing:

Latin name: Giantsideways Bellendus.

Latin name: Giantsideways Bellendus.

There’s a possibility that there’s some truth in the stories, but if there is, the reality of the animal behind them is likely to be far less absurd than any of the accounts it’s inspired. In the meantime, the Ningen looks set to continue inspiring ridiculous phallic photoshop jobs and the occasional less absurd faked Youtube video:

Of course, if they do turn out to be real, I’ve no doubt that fairly soon the Japanese will put a harpoon through one in order to show it to the world. Y’know, for ‘research’.

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#14 – The Montauk Monster

In these crazy neon robot future-times we live in, you’d think that the ease of accessing information through the Internet would make it all too simple for the cynics and debunkers to merrily poop all over any and all modern cryptid sightings that come to light. To an extent that’s true, but the beauty of conspiracy theorists in general is that they tend to be less than thorough about researching their sources before gleefully spreading rumours faster than your mum can spread her legs.

oh-snap

All sorts of silly photographs of unknown animals make their way on to the web every year, often lifted and reposted without mention of their origin countless times. The stories at the source of the pictures become blurred and exaggerated through repetition in exactly the same way they always have done – the only thing that’s changed is the sheer speed at which cryptid stories now ping around the world.

Of course, most of these photos are little more than photoshop jobs ranging from careful hoaxes to hilarious extremes like putting the face of an ocelot at the end of a whale’s dick. But every now and then the Internet picks up on a genuine story and sends it worldwide, as it did with the case of the globster that washed up on a beach in Montauk, New York in 2008:

OHMYGOD HE'S SO CUTE WHERE CAN I GET ONE?

OHMYGOD HE’S SO CUTE WHERE CAN I GET ONE?

Yeah, enjoy that beauty in all its modern high-def glory.

The Montauk Monster turned out to have a perfectly rational explanation – although the remains disappeared fairly quickly, plenty of zoologists and smart alecs stepped forward to identify them as a partially decomposed raccoon, left bald and missing part of its jaw as a result of spending several days bobbing about in the sea. In fact, the very first article in the local paper put forward this explanation, but not before lightheartedly suggesting that the monster could have been the result of experimentation at the nearby Plum Island animal research facility.

The joke was lost on the internet, which quickly picked up on the suggestion and blindly farted it about so much that in most accounts the experiment theory had entirely replaced the actual explanation by the time most people around the world got a chance to read about the case. Proof, then, of two things; firstly, that the wonderful rumour mill of cryptozoology still functions perfectly well with the introduction of the internet, and secondly that a worrying number of Americans still have a tendency to get depressingly overexcited at the possibility of a dead [ABBREVIATION CENSORED ON THE GROUNDS OF RACIAL SENSITIVITY]

Well that's at least one joke that won't make it in to the live show.

Well that’s at least one joke that won’t make it in to the live show.

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#10 – The Con Rit

I mentioned the coelocanth in the blog a couple of weeks ago for a good reason – it’s the best example going of a creature that apparently disappeared from the fossil record reappearing millions of years later. Its existence lends a little plausibility to the theory that any number of cryptids could in fact be relict populations of long-thought vanished beasties – the Loch Ness monster could turn out to be a plesiosaur, for example:

I'm bored. This is boring. You're boring me Nessie.

If this beast was really Scottish, both that fish he’s eating and his wife would be battered.

If there truly are any massive cryptids still out there waiting to be discovered, it makes sense that they’d be aquatic for the simple reason that we don’t know as much about the fauna of our seas as we do about that of our land masses. DO A JOKE YOU BORING SHIT, I hear you cry. Ok, how about this – what’s sixty feet long, stinks, and loves hot wet places in Vietnam  (apart from your dad’s cock on a midlife crisis sex tour?)

THIS terrifying bastard.

THIS terrifying bastard. But seriously – your dad needs help.

Meet the Con Rit, a fairly unique species of sea serpent that’s been reported in the oceans off South East Asia. Described as anywhere up to sixty feet long and three feet wide, this horrifying monster is divided into armoured segments two feet across, each with a pair of lateral fins or filaments sprouting from either side.  The name is Vietnamese for ‘millipede’, presumably because the more size-accurate title of ‘maxipede’ has already been posthumously awarded to Jimmy Savile.

"Quick! I'll race you to see who can fuck an entire generation first!"

“Quick! I’ll race you to see who can fuck an entire generation first!”

Records of the Con Rit go as far back as the second century, when Greek military writer Aelian described the creature and reported them as prone to beaching themselves. For a more modern account we have to look to Dr A. Krempf, who was director of the Oceanographic and Fisheries Service of Indo-China in the 1920s. He interviewed Tran Van Con, who was apparently an actual human being and not a prank in which you get tricked into getting fellated by a drag queen in the back of a transit.

Van Con described encountering the beached corpse of a Con Rit in 1883 – he gave the measurements I described above, as well as noting that the body was dark brown above and yellow on the underside. Striking a stick against the globster’s carapace he noted that it rang like metal (in much the same way as the shell of a horseshoe crab does). Unfortunately, the headless body stank so badly that it was towed back out to sea before it could be properly studied.

On top of Van Con’s account the Con Rit also features heavily as the dragon in ancient Vietnamese legends, leading to some speculation that a real live monster of the sea could be the inspiration behind the archetypal Oriental dragon.

There are several other theories, including one from Bernard Heuvelmans, the founding father of cryptozoology. He saw the Con Rit as a possible surviving zeuglodon:

zeuglodon

I think this is how Tim Burton’s sperm looks.

This assumption was based on the evidence of the time, which seemed to imply that armoured carapaces were common among archaic whales. Modern experts disagree, so the identity of the Con Rit remains a mystery; if it’s a crustacean it’d easily be the biggest one ever identified, and if it’s a fish, it’s sure as all balls a truly bizarre one.

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#4 – The Bloop

Two things are certain about the extreme depths of the Earth’s oceans. The first is that we don’t know as much as we should about them and the second is that somewhere down there is a colony of massive hell-monsters whose one and only goal in life is to find Japan and then smash it up a bit.

Cinema’s obsession with massive homicidal creatures from the deep is an ongoing one and the reason behind such fascination is obvious; some of the weird creatures we’ve dredged up from ocean trenches seem so intrinsically alien that it’s only logical to fear their massive, steroid-munching older siblings coming after us as vengeance for our sushi fixation. Couple that with the occasional globster washing up and injecting a little horrifying, mouldy reality into the theory of it all and suddenly you’ve got a solid basis for some serious box office gold.

Especially if you make your monster a massive vagina-mouthed dust mite, apparently.

Especially if you make your monster a massive vagina-mouthed dust mite, apparently.

Naturally it all sounds like hysterical Hollywood speculation, until you factor in the possibility that in 1997 we may have heard one of the fucking things.

The threat of nuclear annihilation during the Cold War felt like a very real one to the American navy and quite understandably, the last thing they wanted was a sneaky little pinko submarine creeping up on them and turning New York into little more than a fiery memory. The solution to that was an underwater array of hydrophones listening out for the devious little bastards in a zone known as the deep sound channel – the section of the sea where extreme cold and high pressure allows sound waves to travel, in scientific terms, really bastard far.

Thankfully, eventually America and the Reds decided that annihilating everyone on the planet probably wasn’t in humanity’s best interests and the need for the SOSUS array dwindled. Rather than mothballing the project the whole thing was handed over to science and has since been used to monitor all sorts of cool stuff like whale migrations and ice fracturing in the Antarctic. Oh, and in 1997, Cthulu rousing from his watery slumber.

A spectogram of the Bloop. Or a Predator-eye view of 9/11, I'm not sure.

A spectogram of the Bloop. Or a Predator’s-eye view of 9/11, I’m not sure.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration detected the Bloop several times over the summer of 1997 and it’s fair to say that at first, it put the willies up them a bit. Dr Fox at the NOAA was so convinced that the Bloop matched the frequency patterns and variations of mammal sounds like whale calls that he was a little spooked and changed vocations entirely, going on to work at Radio 1, where he made a lucrative living as an entirely insufferable prick.

I've not checked, but there's a slim chance this isn't the same Dr Fox.

I’ve not checked, but there’s a slim chance this isn’t the same Dr Fox.

Of course, the array picking up whale sounds wouldn’t have been that rare an occurrence. What was rare was that the Bloop was detected on so many sensors, some of them up to 4,800km apart. For the Bloop to be animal-made in origin and also make logical sense, this meant that whatever animal made it had to have noise-making apparatus several times larger than that of a blue whale. Y’know, the blue whale, the biggest animal that’s ever fucking lived.

Speculation over the origin of the Bloop continued for two decades, until the NOAA listened to some similar events and concluded in 2008 that despite the uncanny similarities to whale sounds, the Bloop was “consistent with icequakes generated by large icebergs as they crack and fracture.”

Of course, the joy of cryptozoology is that it’s far more fun to speculate wildly than it is to listen to the logical explanation, so they’re probably just lying to us all.

Cthulhu

Under the sea! Under the sea! It’s always better, down where it’s wetter, take it from AAARGH GOD MY FACE IT’S EATING MY FACE

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#1 – Globsters

This one is a bit of a cheat, as a ‘globster’ isn’t a specific cryptid but an umbrella term used to describe any and all of the weird and unidentifiable organic shit that washes up on beaches all over the world. There have been dozens that have caused media storms and freaked out locals who nevertheless generally turn up in droves to poke the rotting bag of meat with sticks before declaring that it must be a dinosaur or some sort of misplaced Godzilla miscarriage:

The St Augustine Monster, Florida 1986

The St Augustine Monster, Florida 1986


The hype surrounding globsters like the St Augustine Monster peaked in the late 19th and early 20th century, when everybody relied on newspapers and logical people couldn’t log online to pick apart the insanity of it all. A good monster story was excellent press and dragged a lot of tourists to the area, so a lot of hacks wildly publicised just about anything globster-related they could get their hands on. And then in 1924 they hit a slam dunk.

“Trunko” was sighted on October 25 off the coast of Margate, South Africa. And this globster wasn’t a rancid sack of flesh stinking up the beach like your mum on holiday in Benidorm – it was apparently alive and kicking, fighting with two killer whales off the coast.

Trunko

Where’s mah money, bitch?


For three hours witnesses watched Trunko – a fifty-foot, white and hairy ‘whale’ with a long trunk – battle the two orcas, jumping twenty feet out of the sea and thrashing them with its tail before the poor beast eventually conked out and washed up on the beach. The few photographs taken that day remained undiscovered until 2010, when a nerd much like me managed to dig them up:

Trunko Dead

Trunko also wins the award for ‘having a nickname an Australian would usually use for a mate with a big penis’.

Globsters remained a mystery until forensic techniques improved and proper scientists decided to shit all over the mystery of it all. Samples from the Saint Augustine Monster analysed at the Smithsonian turned out to come from the collagen matrix that supports whale blubber. Thus the mystery of Trunko and many others was solved – when a massive animal like a whale dies at sea, the carcass sinks until the bones separate from the flesh, at which point the tough collagen fibres lump into one enormous mass and pop to the surface like a rancid, thirty-tonne cork. The fibres are white and form long strands, making the whole disgusting blob look distinctly hairy and alien. Not that such an appearance puts the killer whales off – they take one look at the festering lump and then like to eat and play volleyball with it, for no other reason than they are the horrifying cannibalistic psychopaths of the sea.

The mystery of a lot of globsters was suddenly solved. They weren’t monsters at all, but simply lumps of congealed collagen left over from a mouldering corpse. Kind of like what we’d get now, if Leslie Ash died in the bath and nobody found her for three weeks.

Untitled

Why so serious?

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