The Mystery of The St. Augustine Monster

The Mystery of The St. Augustine Monster

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 Corpse

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 Examination

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.

The examination of the monster

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.

The Photos

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.

Was it an Octopi

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?

Please leave your thoughts and opinions in the comment section below.

6 comments on “The Mystery of The St. Augustine Monster

  1. Very interesting story. I tend to keep an open mind when it comes to sea creatures, because we still don’t know much about them. There’s a good chance that this is indeed the corpse of an unknown sea creature. 

    Are they able to determine the age of the remain? Does it have teeth? 

  2. I love such mythological studies and I like the way you have brainstormed. It’s commonly known in my tradition that when you see a strange beast, most likely there is a companion with it. That is to mean if it’s a male, you may likely find a female nearby. 

    With this theory, I believe that this beast had a companion that was left behind alive. Aren’t there any records of such living beast? Was it established that this creature was a mammal, a reptile or an amphibian living on dry land or in the seas?

    1. It’s all still a bit of a mystery mate – but I really like your angle on it having a partner (I didn’t think about that!).

  3. When looking at the head, my first guess whas an octopuss. I find it very weird that Verrill changed his mind so often about what kind of beast this was.

    Who knows what kind of sea animals live deep below… I find it intriguing that we appear to know more what’s out their in space, than we know about wat lives beneath us… 

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