A category of Sea Monster identified by Gary Mangiacopra.
P^hysical description: Serpentine or eel-like. Length, 15-50 feet. Horselike or snakelike flat head, 3 feet long, tapering down to the muzzle. Enormous eyes. Slender neck, 10 feet long or more. A mane or beard has been reported. Round tail, either fanlike or tapering to a point.
Behavior: Swims rapidly by squirming. Churns up the water. Spouts. Curious and cautious; sometimes playful. Has been reported to maner 315
circle a boat, jump completely out of the water, and land on its stomach.
Distribution: North Atlantic Ocean along the coast of the United States.
Significant sightings: On September 25, 1888, Captain Springs of the tug Henry Buck was towing a schooner in Winyah Bay, near Georgetown, South Carolina, when he spotted a 50-foot animal swimming on the surface with its head 3 feet in the air. The head was vermilion, and the neck was covered with a long mane. The captain's story was corroborated by others.
Pilot Alexander Banta watched a black creature larger than a whale as he was off City Island, New York, on August 10, 1902. It dived, came up under the boat, and struck it so that it nearly capsized. The monster had enormous eyes and a yellow mane.
Present status: Similar to Bernard Heuvel-mans's Merhorse.
Possible explanation: An unknown mammal, perhaps related to the Seals (Suborder Pinni-pedia).
Sources: "The Sea Serpent," St. Louis Globe-Democrat, September 27, 1888, p. 6; "Sea Serpent Hits Hell Gate Pilot," New York Herald, August 11, 1902, p. 12; Gary S. Mangiacopra, "The Great Unknowns of the 19th Century," OfSea and Shore 8, no. 3 (Fall 1977): 175-178.
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