Top 10 Bizarre Animal Carcasses That Washed Ashore
10. New Zealand Sea Monster
In 2013, a horrible creature washed up in New Zealand’s Bay of Plenty. At 30 feet long, it measured more than the length of your average crocodile and had a vast mouth jam-packed with pointy teeth.
Although the specimen had certainly seen better days, people immediately began clamoring to figure out what it was. A huge alligator? A moray eel? Amateur scientists and armchair researchers all took to the internet with their speculations about the monster of New Zealand.
Finally, marine biologist Anton van Helden identified it as the battered carcass of a killer whale, which is way more of a buzzkill than a prehistoric sea monster.
Since killer whales, or orcas, are common in the waters right off the Bay of Plenty, this is hardly a reach. Its massive decomposition is what made the giant whale hard to identify, but van Helden was quick to point out that whale carcasses had been misidentified as mysterious monsters of the deep for at least a century. Way to crush our imaginations!
9. Huge Eyeball
A huge eyeball washed up on Pompano Beach, Florida, in 2012, proving once and for all that “Florida Man” isn’t the only weird and squicky thing to come out of the much-maligned state.
Florida’s giant eyeball was found near the bustling town of Fort Lauderdale, and locals had a hell of a time identifying just what it was. The eye itself washed up totally intact and was roughly the size of a baseball.
In a gruesome twist, the eyeball looked almost surgically removed, leading some to speculate if a sadistic fisherman had cut it out of some poor marine creature before tossing it back into the waves.
To identify the macabre discovery, locals called in marine biologists who puzzled over precisely what creature the eye could have come from.
Dubbed “The Mystery Eyeball” on social media, it quickly went viral with scientists and laypeople alike weighing in on where they thought it might have come from. Did it come from a swordfish?
A giant squid? What about a deep-sea alien or some monster ripped out of the pages of folklore? We might never know.
Related: Top 10 Strange Animals in the World
8. Beast of Exmoor Devon
Beast of Exmoor Devon, England, had a brush with the bizarre and mythological when a ghastly creature washed up on its shores in 2009.
The Beast of Exmoor is a frightening creature ripped right out of the pages of British lore, a demonic cat said to roam the area during ancient times… and perhaps even modern ones as well.
Although the phantom beast has been spotted at least 3 times in modernity, this washed-up creature was the most credible, at least to some.
The phantom cat carcass was discovered by accident and set off a firestorm across the United Kingdom. While the remains were indeed big cat-sized, with fearsome teeth, the truth was a lot less strange than fiction.
Beast of Exmoor true believers got the crushing news that it was not the fearsome feline but a grey seal. 7. Montauk Monter
In 2008, a strange creature washed up in Long Island, sparking a flurry of curiosity and igniting a ton of speculation as to precisely what the big animal was… and where it came from.
Meet the Montauk Monster, a bloated beast burped up by the sea and washed up on Ditch Plains, a surfer haven at the very tip of the Montauk peninsula.
The creature was sunburned, bruised, and completely soaked in seawater- and it was discovered by three women who were just out for a beachy stroll.
Was it some kind of mutated turtle? A deep-sea denizen that came to rest on the shore? As soon as the Montauk Monster was discovered, images of it went absolutely viral with everyone weighing in, and some people even suggesting that the monster was an alien, or perhaps a demon.
In reality, the truth is probably much sadder. The Montauk Monster was most likely the remains of a pit bull who was killed in an illegal dogfight in nearby New York City.
6. The Kraken of Indonesia
A 49-foot-long curious creature washed up in Seram Island, Indonesia, in May 2017, horrifying residents and causing massive alarm.
The animal, which was longer than your average city bus, was severely decomposed and spongy, leading some to jump to the conclusion that it could be an elusive Kraken or other ancient sea monster.
In the end, conservationists burst everyone’s bubbles by identifying the Kraken of Indonesia as the remains of a baleen whale. While baleen whales usually sink to the bottom of the sea after they die, this one may have just had a little extra gas in its belly, causing it to float to the shore and deep into our collective imaginations.
5. Giant Bug-Eyed Squid
It’s rare to spot a squid unless you’re out in the cold arctic regions of the world, so you can imagine that it must have shocked the residents of Cape Town, South Africa, when one of these deep-sea monsters washed up on their shores on June 7, 2020.
Giant squid also have the biggest eyes of the entire animal kingdom; the better to see through fantoms of murky water at the bottom of the sea, making this creature truly terrifying to behold.
Their eyes are a full 1 foot in diameter, and the squids themselves stretch a total of 60 feet. For context, that’s the length of an entire bowling lane. While it’s not totally unheard of for a squid to wash up on Cape Town’s beaches, it is bizarre to see a behemoth of this size.
4. Demon Dolphin
Russia’s Sakhalin island was home to a dark discovery in 2015 when a demonic looking dolphin washed up on the shore. This demon dolphin was badly decomposed, resembling more of a zombie than Flipper, and the discovery was quickly pounced upon by people curious to find out the fate of the poor creature.
Whether its battered corpse was the result of foul play or just the relentless motion of the ocean, we might never know.
One of the most curious aspects of the demon dolphin was its fur. As dolphins have smooth skin, people became obsessed with the hairy creature who also looked like it had the remains of paws.
Before anyone could put their finger on precisely what the animal was, it washed back out into the sea, never to be seen again.
Isopods are the demon bugs of your darkest nightmares, but it’s all well and good when they stay at the bottom of the sea where they belong. Unfortunately, these massive monstrosities make it up to the shore from time to time, to our collective horror and disgust.
Resembling tiny land-based pill bugs, these babies are massive- more than a foot long, or, for context, about the size of a small cat. Isopods wash up once in a blue moon, giving scientists a unique chance to study the gruesome bugs without actually traveling all the way down to the bottom of the ocean.
In addition to their fearsome appearance, isopods are also sadistic killers and parasites. Some varieties suck out all of the blood of the tongues of larger fishes.
Once it completely drains the tongue, the isopod will plant itself in the mouth of the fish in one of the nastiest and cruelest examples of parasitic behavior we’ve ever heard of.
2. Destiladeras Mystery
In February 2020, a frightening creature washed up in Jalisco, Mexico, creating quite a stir and leaving locals and experts totally puzzled.
The Destiladeras Mystery, as it came to be known, looked like some kind of horribly disfigured dolphin at first glance, but it became quickly apparent that it was not one of the lovable dogs of the sea.
For starters, the animal had no eyes, but it’s terrible teeth were curved and sharp, leading some people to speculate that it had been somehow dredged up from the very bottom of the ocean.
To add another dash of mystery, the animal had no flukes or fins, both common traits of your average dolphin. Although plenty of experts, fishers, and laypeople checked out the curious corpse, nobody could pin down exactly what it was.
The only guess is that it had come from a deep area in Puerto Vallarta and somehow traveled far to rest on the shores of Jalisco.
1. Thousands of Poisoned Animals
What happens when you have a massive poisoning event right off the coast? Thousands of animals wash up on the shore. In October 2020, that’s exactly what happened in a remote part of Russia known as the Kamchatka peninsula.
The poisoning, which most experts blame on toxic algae, not only hurt the marine life but Russian surfers as well, who reported feeling their eyes stinging and their skin itching after getting out of the water.
The poisoning was huge, killing up to 95 percent of the sea creatures in Kamchatka’s Avacha Bay. Unfortunately, the ramifications could be massive, and we’re just now grappling with the scope.
An event of that magnitude can shake the food chain to its core, and it’s no hyperbole to call it totally catastrophic. Although researchers initially thought that the wipeout was human-made, they’ve since come to the conclusion that it was the result of a natural fluke, proving for the billionth time that. Mother Nature is one cruel woman