As The Inquisitr reported earlier, a horned monster in Spain is terrifying beachgoers as they enjoy the last dregs of summer.
Okay, maybe the horned monster just washed up on the beach and created an unpleasant odor of some description. And maybe it was already dead and not terrorizing people, but give us a break. August is a slow news month.
Actually, the horned monster is one of several incidents in which the carcass of an unidentified creature washes ashore and captures the imagination of the viral news web because we like stuff to be weird. And this thing was hella weird.
There’s no specific name for the phenomena that birthed the horned monster in Spain, but we propose calling them sea chupacabras. We think it communicates both the seafaring nature as well as the mystery of origin that unites the Spanish seabeast, the Montauk monster, and those globs of good that always wash up places and fascinate people.
As for the horned creature, early speculation placed the beast as a decomposed oarfish. While oarfish are deepwater creatures, they’ve occasionally been sighted by fishermen and have also, it is believed, created myths of “sea serpents.”
But this horned creature is probably not even an oarfish, given some distinctive markers that make fish scientists draw another conclusion. In fact, we hate to break it to you, but the thing isn’t really even horned, most likely.
One expert suggested a shark, and NBC spoke with University of Miami shark researcher David Shiffman, who agreed that the beast had shark-like attributes. And the guy is like, totally an expert on sharks.
“It’s hard to tell… but the official guess that it could be a thresher shark seems plausible.”
In our earlier report, we quoted Florida State University ichthyologist Dean Grubbs, who concurs with the shark theory. Grubbs looked at images of the beast, and said:
“That is definitely a shark skeleton… The elements toward the back were confusing me, but those are the lower caudal fin supports. The ‘horns’ are the scapulocoracoids, which support the pectoral fins.”
As the horned monster was not retrieved and left to decompose in the sands of Spain’s beaches, it’s likely we’ll only ever get an educated guess from experts like Shiffman or Grubbs on the beast’s origins.