This article will be taking a look at the famous ‘cryptid corpse’ of the St. Augustine Monster, a discovery that managed to divide Zoology and, for a time, mystify leading cryptozoology experts.
The body of this strange beast was discovered by two boys in late 1896 in the St. Augustine area of Florida. When they first stumbled across the carcass it was half buried in the sandy shore, due to it’s heavy weight.
At first, the boys thought it was nothing more than a strange beached whale – something that happened from time to time in the area.
But there was something strange and unique about this unidentified organic mass – it was unlike any species of whale they had seen before…
The boys decided to contact a local physician named Dr. DeWitt Webb about their find, and he agreed to examine the strange carcass.
His report suggested that the ‘animal’ had a pale pinkish color to it’s skin and that it had a strange sort of reflection when the sun hit it.
He also noted that the corpse had four stumps on it’s body, and then concluded that these stumps were once tentacles. He therefore came to the conclusion that it must be the body of a large decomposing octopus.
He also went on to estimate the creature’s weight at over five tons, and it’s length was approximately six meters long.
During this period, the carcass was photographed several times…but the images, and many of the records that went with them, disappeared, and then surfaced again in 1993.
At the time, Dr. DeWitt Webb did apparently send the images to a famous Harvard University zoologist, but a professor at Yale showed the most interest in the discovery. He was named Addison Emery Verrill.
Verrill was a well known leading expert on cephalopods, and eventually came to the conclusion that the strange beast was probably a Architeuthis Dux – a species of giant squid.
But for some reason Verrill changed his mind within days of coming out with the Architeuthis Dux theory…and became convinced that the creature was a yet unknown class of octopi…
He gave it the title of ‘Octopus Giganteus’.
About a week after the initial discovery, the creature’s corpse was washed further inland by a freak storm. It then attracted a lot of tourists to the area, but the fate of the carcass remains unknown.
Verrill eventually changed his mind again…and finally concluded that the corpse was nothing more than the upper remains of a sperm whale…but fellow experts were now a bit confused by his numerous explanations.
Apparently, samples of the beast’s carcass still survive today, and over the years (since technology evolved in the 1970’s) a number of biologists and cryptozoologists have studied them carefully.
Many of these modern-day experts believe that Verrill was correct with his ‘Octopus Giganteus’ theory…but others believe that he was right with his whale theory.
However, cryptozoologists don’t follow suit – they firmly believe that this beast supports the existence of legendary monster-like sea creatures.
What do you think?
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