17 Real-Life Monsters And The Truth Behind Each

Published January 22, 2018
Updated January 25, 2020

From the Roch Ness Monster to the Tasmanian Globster, the ocean has put out some downright terrifying creatures.

Indonesian Hairy Blob

Indonesian Hairy Blob real-life monsters
This giant, almost impossible to identify blob washed up on a beach in Indonesia in early 2017, and baffled thousands of people on Twitter...Twitter

Hairy Blob

Dugong
...finally, experts concluded that it was nothing more than a waterlogged dugong, which had washed up after decomposing in the sea. Wikimedia Commons

Indonesian Sea Creature

Indonesian sea creature real-life monsters
This kraken-like creature washed up on the shores of the island of Seram in Indonesia last year, sending the locals into a tizzy. The creature had smooth, mottled skin, tusk-like protrusions, and turned all of the water around it an eerie red color...YouTube

Indonesian Sea Creature

Indonesian sea creature
... though scientists have suggested that the creature is most likely a whale, the creatures true identity still remains a mystery. Locals claim it couldn't possibly be a whale, as it definitely had tentacles, and possibly tusks. Youtube

Panama Creature

Panama creature real-life monsters
This freakish creature, dubbed the "Panama Creature" was found in a river near Cerro Azul in Panama. A group of teenagers claimed that the alien like creature attacked them from under the water, and they were forced to kill it...YouTube

Panama Creature

Sloth
...their story was eventually debunked when scientists revealed that the monster was actually the decomposing corpse of a brown-throated sloth. The loss of hair was due to the corpse being stuck underwater for an extended period of time. Wikimedia Commons

Elemendorf Beast

Elemendorf beast real-life monsters
The Elmendorf Beast was a dog-sized monster that terrorized the small town of Elemendorf Texas for months until it was finally caught. Rumors that it was the dreaded chupacabra swirled until zoologists revealed the creature's real nature...YouTube

Elemendorf Beast

Coyote
... which was nothing more than a coyote. Experts determined that it a coyote likely contracted mange, or another neurodegenerative disorder, which caused it's erratic behavior and bloodlust for farm animals. Wikimedia Commons

Omajinaakoos

Omajinaakoos real-life monsters
In 2010, a snaggle-toothed creature washed up on the banks of an Ontario creek, only to be identified by native elders as "omajinaakoos," or, "the ugly one," a mythical creature that feeds on beavers. However multiple zoologists refuted the story, claiming it was something else entirely...YouTube

Omajinaakoos

Otters
...most likely an otter. The claws and facial structure most closely resembled that of a common river otter, and the hair loss was most likely due to being left in the water to decompose. Wikimedia Commons

Atacama Skeleton

Atacama Skeleton real-life monsters
The six-inch Atacama skeleton was discovered in northern Chile in 2003. Upon inspection, the remains contained high-quality DNA, suitable for testing...

Atacama Skeleton

Atacama Skeleton
...however, the truth is that scientists still don't know what the skeleton is. Is it a premature infant born with a severe form of oxycephaly or dwarfism? Or, was it something much more mysterious, and possibly extraterrestrial?

Montauk Monster

Montauk Monster
The Montauk Monster is perhaps the most famous on this list. After washing up on the northern-most beach of Long Island in 2008, photos of the monster made the rounds on the internet, causing much speculation as to what it could possibly be...Wikimedia Commons

Montauk Monster

Raccoon
...which turned out to be a raccoon. The skull and paw shape was what gave it away to zoologists, who explained just how important flesh and fur are in making a difference between cute and creepy. Public Domain

Folly Beach Beast

Folly Beach beast
In 2012, a giant scaly sea creature washed up on Folly Beach in South Carolina. The giant scales covering it's massive body inspired visions of sea monsters or prehistoric beasts...YouTube

Folly Beach Beast

Sturgeon
...but in reality, experts believe that it was the remains of the Atlantic Sturgeon, a fish that can grow to enormous lengths, and has been known to show off some pretty prehistoric-looking scales. Wikimedia Commons

Tenby Beast

Tenby beast
A woman walking her dog on a Welsh beach came across a horrifying site when her pup sniffed something near the water's edge. Dubbed the "Tenby beast," the creature seemed to be a mix of a horse, a bear, and a pig... YouTube

Tenby Beast

Badger
...however, experts claim it was nothing more than a badger, left to rot, swell, and decompose in the salty sea water. Wikimedia Commons

Roch Ness Monster

Roch Ness Monster
The Roch Ness Monster was another creature found during an unsuspecting early morning dog walk, along a lake in Rochdale, England. The creepy, flat head with its gaping jaws immediately sparked visions of sinister sea serpents...YouTube

Rock Ness Monster

Lake Sturgeon
...but, like the Folly Beach monster, the Roch Ness beast turned out to be a sturgeon, which are known to inhabit the lake. Wikimedia Commons

East River Monster

East River Monster
A couple was hoping for a lovely, riverside walk to the farmers market when they stumbled upon what has been dubbed the "East River Monster" lying in the shadow of the Brooklyn Bridge. The bloated, rotting corpse originally looked pig like, but upon closer inspection had a long tail and paws...YouTube

East River Monster

Pig
... but, experts eventually deduced that the corpse was likely a cooked pig that had been discarded in the river or a small dog that had become overly bloated after being dropped in the river. Wikimedia Commons

Zuiyo Maru Carcass

Zuiyo Maru Carcass
When fishermen pulled the mangled carcass out of the water, they immediately assumed that the creature was some sort of prehistoric sea serpent, or the remains of a plesiosaur...Wikimedia Commons

Zuiyo Maru Carcass

Basking Shark
...however, eventually, scientists deduced that it was the carcass of a basking shark. Though, admittedly, the basking shark looks pretty prehistoric even when it's alive. Wikimedia Commons

Houston Sea Monster

Sea Creature
A Texas resident posted a photo asking the science-side of Twitter for help after noticing a creature that was washed ashore after Hurricane Harvey. The creature seemed like something out of a deep-sea nightmare until the science side of Twitter finally came through... Twitter

Houston Sea Monster

Toothed Eel
...explaining that it was the bloated carcass of a tusky eel, which lives in the warm waters off the coast of Texas, and likely got caught in infested floodwaters during the storm. Wikimedia Commons

Moscow Monster

Moscow Monster
Looking like a prop from a retro monster movie, the Moscow Monster washed up on shore in 2008. The long, stringy hair covering its skeleton lead many to believe that it was a prehistoric lake monster of some kind, surfacing after a storm... YouTube

Moscow Monster

Beluga
...but in reality, it was just a beluga whale carcass. The stringy, hairy mess that covered it was likely seaweed and other debris that the carcass picked up on its way to shore. Public Domain

Texas Chupacabra

Chupacabra Texas
This little fella, rumored to be the elusive and deadly Chupacabra (a baby, of course) was found by a family in Texas in 2014. Experts were called in after the family boasted that they had finally captured the legendary creature...YouTube

Texas Chupacabra

Unknown Chupacabra
...and, actually, no official decision was made. Most experts agree that it's most likely a mangy raccoon, though certain characteristics such as its eating habits and growl suggest otherwise. YouTube

Philippine Sea Serpent

Phillipine Sea Serpent
The Philippine Sea Serpent washed up on the shores of a beach in Agusan del Norte, terrifying beachgoers. The large eye, seemingly gaping mouth, and long serpentine body looked an awful lot like something from the deep, dark ocean...YouTube

Philippine Sea Serpent

Oarfish
...and in reality, it was, though it was much less sinister than anyone thought. The sea monster was simply an oarfish, partially decomposed, that washed up after a natural death. Wikimedia Commons

Tasmanian Globster

Tasmanian Globester
The Tasmanian globster was, perhaps, the first sea monster to captivate the nation. After washing up in 1962 on the beaches of western Tasmania, the 20-foot carcass baffled scientists for years...Wikimedia Commons

Tasmanian Globster

Baleen Whale
...until it was finally deduced that the hairy mass was likely a baleen whale, almost entirely decomposed. Wikimedia Commons

For years and years, the ocean (and the woods, in some cases) has been spitting out creatures that have baffled scientists and beachgoers alike. It turns out that after a few days in water, animal carcasses become less than identifiable.

When people come across these mysterious objects, naturally their first instinct is to cry wolf – or in most cases, cry sea monster or chupacabra. And honestly, we don't blame them. Some of the creatures that have washed up or walked out have ranged from mildly unsightly to downright scary. Don't believe us? Check out the Roch Ness Monster.

However, thanks to experts and the science-side of the internet, most of these beings have been identified and downgraded from monster to something much friendlier.

Now, instead of monsters from the deep or monsters of legend, these crazy creatures are really just proof that pretty much any animal can look like an alien without its fur or skin.

However, a few of them that have yet to be identified. So, for those of you thinking that real-life monsters still dwell in the deepest realms of the ocean, there may still be hope...


Enjoy this article on real-life monsters? Next, check out some of the craziest catches this Russian fisherman has ever found. Then, take a look at the weirdest freshwater fish ever caught.

author
Katie Serena
author
A former staff writer at All That's Interesting, Katie Serena has also published work in Salon.
Cite This Article
Serena, Katie. "17 Real-Life Monsters And The Truth Behind Each." AllThatsInteresting.com, January 22, 2018, https://allthatsinteresting.com/real-life-monsters. Accessed April 21, 2024.