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Was That a 'Sea Monster' Living Beneath the Brooklyn Bridge?


"...the scales of a fish, body of a serpent, [and] head of a pit bull..."

Over the last few weeks, conspiracy theorists have been in their glory. Likewise, the blogosphere and local (NYC) news outlets have been abuzz. Why, you ask? Because an enormously large and grotesque mystery creature washed ashore near NYC's Brooklyn Bridge last week.

The beast, affectionately referred to as the "East River Monster," was seven feet in length and, according to witness accounts, quite ugly. Gawker dramatically described the enigma as follows:

It had the scales of a fish, body of a serpent, head of a pit bull, and was the size of a large alligator.

Quite a looker, no?

While New Yorkers were enjoying the mystery and cooking up all sorts of hilarious tales, experts were preparing to slash any and all sci-fi dreams. Within days of the discovery, marine biologists offered up a reasonable explanation, thus dispelling the rumors and calming the firestorm of excitement. According to biologists, the mystery creature was actually a gigantic decaying fish (called a sturgeon). FOX News has more:

"We could tell it was an Atlantic sturgeon right away," Kim Durham, a rescue program director and biologist for the Riverhead Foundation for Marine Research and Preservation in Riverhead, N.Y., told Life's Little Mysteries.

"They have bony plates all over their bodies. There's no mistaking a sturgeon," she said.

So, the hoopla was all for nothing. This scenario is oddly reminiscent of another NYC monster tale -- the Montauk Mystery -- an even creepier story that was characterized by an even more decrepit-looking animal. Luckily, there's no legitimate mega-monster threat (for the time being, that is). Still, the speculation was fun while it lasted.

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