Yay! Another potential sea monster has been spotted! This one was seen off the coast of Devon, England, by Gill Pearce, on July 27. Pearce managed to take a picture of the alleged beast, but like all pictures of potential cryptids, it is a blurry mess that could be anything: a wave, a log, an otter, a seal, etc. As usual, we have to rely on witness testimony rather than visual aids.
Ms. Pearce said the creature appeared to be trying to catch fish, and that some fish beached themselves as the beast got near (which lends credence to the possibility that these were just some weird waves, which could cause fish to end up on the beach rather than in the water where they belong). Ms. Pearce contacted the Marine Conservation Society to report the sighting, and the MCS hasn’t been able to determine what she saw and has asked beachgoers to keep their cameras at the ready in case it reappears. Maybe one of these days someone will get a clear photo of one of these things. Or maybe the clear photos that have been taken show that the beast in question was actually something already known and totally non-sensational.
Ms. Pearce originally thought the creature was a sea turtle, but then she saw a long neck that ruled that out. Unless it’s a mutant sea turtle. Oh, like that’s any less plausible than there being plesiosaur-like creatures in oceans and lakes that are able to elude all attempts to find them despite their enormous size. I think if you’re willing to believe that various cryptozoological creatures exist, you should also be willing to believe that some of them might just be mutated or otherwise deformed creatures we are all already aware of. Well, those of us not too busy fretting about what’s in People magazine to pay attention in science class, anyway.
Just this week scientists disclosed the discovery that triceratops is just a juvenile version of a torosaurus. So these two things we thought were independent creatures are one creature at different stages of life. To my relief, they are going to stick with the triceratops name. I don’t know why that matters to me, it just does.
Childhood nomenclature issues aside, this goes to show that we should keep our minds open about what things might be. Sure, they could be undiscovered creatures. We find “new” species in the depths of the oceans and in remote jungles when we find a way to look there, and the world is a big place with plenty of room for creatures to exist without us knowing about it at all. But we also know about evolution and mutation and deformity, so we should think about those factors, too, when we think we have seen a sea monster or bigfoot or chupacabra. Maybe that could help us calm down just enough to take some in-focus pictures.