Multicoiled Sea Monster

A category of Sea MONSTER identified by Gary Mangiacopra.

Variant name: Many-coiled sea monster.

P^hysical description: Serpentine. Large curves looping in and out of the water. Length, 20-100 feet. Small diameter for its length. Dark above, whitish below. Square-shaped, seal-like head, 2 feet in diameter. Some reports place a horn on the head. Large, bright eyes. Two types of dorsal fin reported: a continuous fin starting 8 feet in back of the head and single fins on each loop of the body, about 3-4 feet apart.

Behavior: Swims rapidly by arching its body out of the water like a snake. Makes a noise like steam escaping.

Distribution: North Atlantic Ocean.

Significant sightings: On September 22, 1895, Willard P. Shaw and his family and neighbors saw a huge snake off their front porch at Spring Lake, New Jersey. It appeared to be 75-100 feet long, with its head sticking 6 feet out of the water. The head was flat, with an alligator-like snout. It moved about 40 miles an hour by up-and-down writhing movements.

Professor R. H. Mohr of Boston and his son were sailing at sunrise on August 10, 1896, off Nahant, Massachusetts, when they saw a huge, seal-like head with a foot-long horn projecting from its forehead. Soon, they saw a series of loops, each capped by a single fin, circling their boat. The skin looked like that of a porpoise.

The crew of the ship Livingston sighted a sea serpent 50 miles north of Frontera, Tabasco State, Mexico, on June 21, 1908. It was allegedly 200 feet long, with a head 6 feet long by 3 feet wide. As it swam away with its tail erect, observers heard a rattling noise like a Gatling gun.

Present status: Similar to Bernard Heuvel-mans's Multhumped Sea Monster

P)ossible explanation: An archaic whale, possibly an elongated basilosaurid.

Sources: "Was It a Sea Serpent?" New Haven (Conn.) Evening Register, September 24, 1895, p. 1; "Faced Sea Serpents," New York Herald, August 16, 1896, p. 4; "200-foot Sea Serpent," New York Times, July 1, 1908, p. 1; Gary S. Mangiacopra, "The Great Unknowns of the 19th Century," OfSea and Shore 8, no. 3 (Fall 1977): 175-178.

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