It’s hairless, bloated and decomposing. Of course people will freak out and speculate wildly.
A brownish creature, with sharp teeth and claws, is deceased on the beach in Santa Barbara after the latest storm, and many people are wondering what it is.
It was found near a drain washout, but also near an area where the sandy water from the harbor is coming out of a dredging pipe east of Stearns Wharf.
Of course, if you are another news source picking this up, you add some flair:
Mysterious Creature With ‘Ridiculously Large Canines’ Discovered On California Beach, Local Residents Baffled.
The animal is about 2 feet long and “had the body shape of a pig – kind of a fat stomach, middle area. And the canines were just ridiculously large,” Josh Menard, a 19-year-old snowboarder from Lake Tahoe, said. He also took a picture of the mysterious animal.
He may know how to take a picture but I really don’t think he saw a dead animal up close before. The fat stomach is from decomposition gases bloating the carcass. It’s canines look rather normal but because the fur is gone and skin is distorted, they look large, as do the long claws. This is typical of such carcasses exposed to water. The people who are “baffled” are those who a.) don’t follow these stories on the news apparently, and b.) don’t know much of anything about the local animal life. It’s just not that unusual.
Some very silly people have called it a dinosaur because it looks old. (Oh, dear. Thank you science education in the US) or remark on its “fangs”. First guess for me would be badger which is more obvious in this picture.
This explains the head shape, nose, long digging claws, and formidable dentition.
The original Montauk Monster, lo those many years ago, was the first mystery carcass viral internet story. Raccoons often creep people out. Compare this critter to the East River raccoon carcass of 2012. There are some similarities. People STILL do not believe it was a raccoon but some mutant or hybrid. It’s best to check with biologists or zoologists who are far more versed in looking at these things in all their forms.
New mysterious hairless freaky-looking things appear two or three times a year in the news. You can see an array of them here: Freak Out over Hairless Mystery Beasts. Dogs, cats, seals, minks, opossum, badgers, you name it, animals look weird when dead and are missing the traits we most readily identify them by.
Remember, if you come upon such a carcass and don’t want to bring it home, use a scale object in the picture for size and carefully photograph at least the head, TEETH and the FEET which can be used to ID the creature. And, take more than one picture! But above all, don’t poke it with a stick.