A mystery sea creature with a beak and long, serpentine body, has baffled marine biologists the world over after it washed up on a Norfolk beach earlier this week.
The Hunstanton Times said that the unidentified sea creature was discovered by dog walkers near Holme-Next-The-Sea on the North Norfolk Coast. Eviscerated, emaciated, and with protruding bones, scientists say they have no idea what the strange prehistoric-like "monster" might be.
Stuart Suiter from King's Lynn, one of several people who claimed to have discovered the creature, said it was “the size of a whale” with “an enormous beak, lined with sharp teeth.”
Genia Brown of Hunstanton said that the creature snarled at her dog, and "would have killed him, but writhed around before dying."
|A hole in the side of the sea serpent, possibly caused by a mine, showing probable insides. The long white objects are thought to be ribs, similar to ribs found in other, non-monster animals. (Photo: © Norfolk Press)|
It's not the first time that unidentified creatures have been discovered on Norfolk beaches. In 2004 a rotting corpse was washed up during a storm, which was thought by experts from London Zoo to be a basking shark. However, former councillor, Jennie Ashbury, said it was like nothing she'd ever seen.
Terry Sanders from English Nature, one of several experts who came to study the most recent remains, said "It's almost certainly the remains of a small cetacean, such as a porpoise. The creature is badly decomposed and you're interviewing me before I've even got down to the beach – but the Twitter photos suggest porpoise."
Despite baffling experts, the unidentified sea serpent still managed to draw a crowd. Happily, marine biologists from along the coast at the Great Yarmouth Marine Institute were on hand to take questions from the crowd.
|Tooth marks likely made by an even larger marine predator, possibly a Megalodon. (Photo: © Norfolk Press)|
Danger To The Public
Some experts took to social media to attempt to dispel suggestions that the animal represented a danger to the public, saying that although they couldn't be sure whether it was a porpoise, or perhaps a dolphin, it was definitely not some hitherto unknown animal. They tried to reassure the crowd by pointing out that animals this dead don't generally exhibit aggressive behaviour.
Earlier that day, Wells-Nest-The-Sea mayor, Sally Ellison, had issued a warning via her Facebook page asking people to stay indoors. It was reported that she had asked Norfolk Police to close the beaches, but they had refused, stating that it was really hard to close something like a coastline.
Angry residents hit out at police. Resident Michael Lofting said: "I think it's disgusting! What if I just accidentally walked into the sea? I could be killed! The beaches should be shut. We saw what happened with that shark attack in America in the '70s. What if I just put my kids in the sea right now? The police must close the beaches!"
University of East Anglia biology researcher, Dr. Terry Watkins, said: "It's obviously a porpoise. The caudal flukes have been eaten away by scavengers resulting in a long, thin tail. We see this kind of thing all the time. It's the second one I've seen this week."
Experts, however, remain baffled.