Furred Sea Monster

Sea Monster of the Indian and North Pacific Oceans.

Physical description: Length, 25-47 feet. Covered in thick, white fur. Tapering head like an elephant's, 5 feet long. Trunklike appendage, 5 feet long and 14 inches in diameter. Tail, 14 feet long, beginning at the rib section.

Behavior: Fights with whales.

Distribution: The coasts of South Africa and Alaska.

Significant sightings: On November 1, 1922, Hugh Ballance saw two whales fighting with an unusual animal some 1,300 yards off the shore near Margate, KwaZulu-Natal Province, South Africa. Through binoculars, it looked like a huge polar bear with a tail with which it struck the whales repeatedly. Crowds of people watched the battle for three hours until the monster was killed. The next night, the carcass washed ashore and lay on the beach for ten days. It had an elephant's trunk and was covered in snow-white hair.

In November 1930, the carcass of a 25-foot animal with a long and tapering head washed up on Glacier Island, Alaska. W. J. McDonald, supervisor of the Chugach National Forest, and six others examined the body, which had very little flesh left on it. The widest part of the skeleton was 3 feet 2 inches. Its weight was estimated at 1,000 pounds.

Possible explanations:

(1) A decomposing shark or whale, where the dried-out, fibrous connective tissue looks like white fur.

(2) An unknown marine mammal, completely unlike anything else in the fossil record.

Sources: Daily Mail (London), December 27, 1924; "Ice Bares Strange Animal," New York Times, November 26, 1930; "Monster in Ice Has Long Snout," New York Sun, November 28, 1930; "Confirm Finding of Pre-Historic Monster in Ice," New York Evening World, November 28, 1930; "Furry Beast 20 Feet Long Is Washed Ashore Lifeless," New York Times, October 3, 1944; Thomas Victor Bulpin, Your Undiscovered Country (Durban, South Africa: Total Oil Products, 1965).

182 furred sea monster

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