First hairless, bloated, dead monster of the season found along NY’s East River (UPDATED: Raccoon)

Yep, it’s summer. You know it’s hot when bloated dead carcasses start to appear labeled “monster”.

Graphic Photo Shows Bloated Rat Monster Washed Up Near East River

Yesterday we received three graphic photos of this above creature on the shore of the East River. Our tipster wrote, “Is this another incarnation of the Montauk Monster, or just the biggest rat in the city?” The animal was under the Brooklyn Bridge on the Manhattan side, and was “maybe two feet, a bit more perhaps, head to tail.”

Source: The Gothamist

Photo: Denise Ginley

Is this another Montauk Monster? (dead raccoon) It’s hard to tell from this picture but it looks pretty disgusting. I’m still searching for the other photos that may actually show more detail. It’s hairless and bloated – indicative of being dead and in the water for a spell. Actually identifying the creatures is fairly easy if you can view the feet, skull and determine the size. It’s obviously some mammal (cat, rat, groundhog, dog?) but with no close up, it’s very difficult to determine. Regardless, there is no sense in jumping to monstrous conclusions. It’s not a mutant, it’s just a dead thing we aren’t used to seeing so dead.

UPDATE: Big thanks to the photographer, Denise Ginley for commenting and pointing us to more picts. I’m posting these additional ones to help with identification. You can see more by logging into flickr here.

Photo Denise Ginley

Photo Denise Ginley

UPDATE(26-Jul-2012): Tetrapod Zoology’s Dr. Darren Naish has commented that pictures of the open mouth/lower jaw and considering the feet, this is another raccoon just like the Montauk Monster. The link to Dr. Naish’s analysis of the Montauk carcass is here. This does not look exactly like the Montauk carcass but the key is the feet and teeth. If you every find a strange carcass, get a complete round of pictures, with something IN the picture for size scale. And always photograph the teeth and feet.

Check out this great link : Actually, Lots Of Monstrous Creatures Have Been Found On Beaches It’s rather normal for carcasses to wash ashore. In 8 of those pictured in this gallery, 4 look like raccoons. One is a dog, one an otter/muskrat thing and 2 are unidentifiable. But, it’s not hard to imagine that some of these animals died or were dumped dead into the local creek/river where the body, in the process of losing it’s hair and bloating, lasted long enough in the cold water to be washed into the ocean and up onto the shore. The lucky photographers came across the mystery.

For more on freaky hairless things, check out my article here: Hairless Freaks! Casting A Critical Eye Toward “Mystery Animals”

  15 comments for “First hairless, bloated, dead monster of the season found along NY’s East River (UPDATED: Raccoon)

  1. July 23, 2012 at 4:13 PM
    Here are the other photos- I am the one who submitted the photo to Gothamist, so these are from the same day/camera. For the record- I don’t necessarily think it’s a monster, I just thought it was weird/interesting/gross enough to warrant sending to Gothamist.

  2. idoubtit
    July 23, 2012 at 6:17 PM

    WOW! Denise, thanks. Good job on the photos. I’m not sure what it is. Did it stink?

  3. July 23, 2012 at 6:38 PM

    Maybe Opossum?

  4. July 23, 2012 at 6:55 PM

    It did not stink at all, maybe because it was so water logged? I’ve heard Gambian Pouched Rat suggested, like the one they caught in the Marcy Projects, although it didn’t seem to have a pouch. It’s skin was super multi colored from being so waterlogged, so no hints there.

  5. idoubtit
    July 23, 2012 at 6:56 PM

    I’ve summoned the experts. Hopefully they will take a look.

  6. John
    July 23, 2012 at 9:17 PM


  7. Andrew Webster
    July 24, 2012 at 8:52 AM

    Raccoon based on the finger like digits

  8. scott mardis
    July 24, 2012 at 10:07 AM

    Many years ago,a game warden at Lake Champlain told me the story of how he once found a bloated carcass of an animal on the lake shore that at first he thought must be a “Champ” due to it’s unusual size and appearance.Closer inspection revealed it to be a bloated beaver carcass.Not to say that that is what this Hudson River thing is, but to demonstrate that incidents like this are not that uncommon.

  9. RayG
    July 24, 2012 at 12:38 PM

    That French Bulldog has expired, it has left this mortal coil, it is bereft of life.. it is a stiff. Or a Chupacabra of course..

  10. LovleAnjel
    July 24, 2012 at 1:17 PM

    I got my mammologist colleague to take a look – based on dentition and limb/tail morphology, it’s a raccoon, and a male (you can see the “wee flap”). He says to be very sure, someone should pull out the baculum and post a picture – coons have a very identifiable curly baculum.

    My colleague has a multi-year catch/release raccoon study, so he knows of what he speaks. He also said he would bet a six-pack of Corona on his identification.

  11. idoubtit
    July 24, 2012 at 3:15 PM Says “pig left over from a cookout”? Feet and tail don’t say “pig”.

  12. Ryuthrowsstuff
    July 25, 2012 at 4:47 PM

    Given that the last half dozen or so of these in the NY area have turned out be to raccoons It’d be really odd if that weren’t the case.

  13. idoubtit
    July 25, 2012 at 9:18 PM

    This is not a pig. It does not remind me as much of the dead raccoon. I wish we could see the teeth better to see the canines. Possums have huge canines. This has no pouch.

    I’m leaning dog or raccoon. The longish fingers… more raccoon?

    Status: This story has gone viral and NY Parks service have been quite silly about it.

  14. Gareth
    July 27, 2012 at 5:20 PM

    Don’t let a lack of a pouch put you off it being a Possum, it might just be a male. Unless it’s a Water Possum, in which case the male would have a pouch too, or maybe it’s a Thylacine.

    As it happens though it’s a Carnivore, and one with a generalised diet. Possibly a dog but as has been said looking at the paws, much more probable that it’s a Raccoon.

  15. idoubtit
    July 27, 2012 at 5:35 PM

    It’s a raccoon. It does not fit with anything else known.

Comments are closed.