All Washed Up: 10 Bizarre Beached Creatures
Shore is strange… at least sometimes, and usually after a storm. Beachcombers often can’t believe their eyes (or noses) when encountering some of Neptune’s more notable washed-up castoffs and even scientists can be befuddled on first impression. Like most UFO’s, there’s always an explanation for the apparently unexplainable… it’s up to you, however, if you choose to believe it.
Quit While You’re a Head
Not much happens in Temuka, a town of just over 4,000 located on the eastern coast of New Zealand’s South Island, but all that changed on October 28th, 2009 when the aliens landed… according to Rose Fraser, who came across it while walking along Temuka Beach. “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.” Scientific analysis soon proved her conjecture a might ambitious, identifying the “mysterious blob” instead as the top of a Sperm Whale’s head. “It is not yet known what will happen to the blob of whale,” concludes the Fairfax NZ News, and frankly we’d rather not know either.
Something was fishy about the so-called “nightmarish Lovecraftian sea monster” that washed ashore on South Carolina’s Folly Beach in March of 2012, or maybe that was just the aroma carried by the sea breeze. It certainly wasn’t the look of this thing, which appeared to have time-traveled from the age of the dinosaurs. A local vet identified the scaly, scute-covered corpse to be a wayward Atlantic Sturgeon, a fish that can grow up to 15 feet long, weigh as much as 800 pounds, and hasn’t really changed much since the species originated around 100 million years ago. Great Old Ones indeed!
The Kivalina Strain
(images via: The Daily What)
The remote native community of Kivalina on the Chukchi Sea shore in northwestern Alaska isn’t the first place one might expect an alien invasion but on August 3rd, 2011, that’s exactly what happened. Rolling onto the beach for miles around, the first wave was NOT made of little green men, but little orange spores… billions of them.
The tiny orange spheres turned out to be fungal spores of a type of plant rust, to be exact. Who knew plants can rust? Anyway, it’s a good thing those who assumed the bloom was made up of crab eggs or some other form of sea life waited for scientists to determine the precise nature of the “orange goo” before slathering it on their sushi. Wait a minute, wasn’t the lethal pathogen from the novel and film The Andromeda Strain a type of fungal spore?
Lost Your Head?
(image via: The Western Star)
“I’ve lived here all my life and never seen anything like it,” said Basil Park of McIvers, on the shore of Newfoundland’s Bay of Islands. “There’s fishermen around here who fished all their lives and they couldn’t tell you.” That’s saying something, even if the subject is a headless creature 15 feet long, 10 feet of which form a tapering tail. Officials of Canada’s Department of Fisheries and Oceans haven’t disclosed the nature of the creature that washed ashore in February of 2010. While they’re waiting for the head to turn up (in New Zealand, perhaps?), we suggest they pass the time reading The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.
No list of washed-up creatures would be complete without mention of the first (of at least three) Montauk Monster. Reports of the ferocious-looking carcass originated from far-eastern Long Island, New York, in July of 2008 and exploded onto the Internet shortly thereafter. Though DOA when it hit the popular Ditch Plains beach, the creature lives on in pop culture and has even been a subject of a beautiful yet disturbing painting by Dan Lacey.
Four years after its discovery, speculation still abounds over the creature’s origin, identity (it may be the decomposed remains of a raccoon) and even its whereabouts, as according to the Wikipedia entry on the Montauk Monster “It is unknown what happened to the carcass.” Well it didn’t just walk away, did it? DID IT??
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