Hoaxes & Rumors

Revisiting the Spanish “Sea Monster”

Revisiting the Spanish “Sea Monster”

A “horned sea monster” which washed up ashore in Spain in 2013 was identified by three experts as a shark carcass. The photo was used in a fake story about the carcass of a Loch Ness Monster washing ashore in Scotland in 2014.

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2013 “Spanish Sea Monster”

After the 13-foot decomposed creature washed up on the Spanish coast on August 16, 2013, speculation varied as to what the creature might be. Many thought it could be an oarfish, while others suggested it could be a thresher shark.

sea-monsterFlorida State University ichthyologist Dean Grubbs told NBC News in an email, “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.”

George Burgess of the Florida Program for Shark Research, and marine biologist David Shiffman both agreed with Grubbs’ assessment.

2014 Loch Ness Monster

Photos of the carcass circulated again in 2014 when they were used for a fake news story about the Loch Ness Monster washing ashore in Scotland. That story, however, originated from the website News-Hound.org, which includes a variety of fake, outlandish stories. In their fake account, we read:

We can exclusively reveal that the Loch Ness Monster has been sensationally discovered washed up dead in Scotland. “This is an astounding discovery,” stated long time nessie-ologist and Scotland native Dr Gregory Mullen. “Naturally, having investigated the mystery of the monster for the last 40 years, this is a very exciting discovery for me. What appears to be even more astounding is that the all our previous ideas concerning the nature of the monster all seem to have been wrong.

Photos accompanying the fake story are the same as the shark carcass photos which were identified in 2013.

Bottom Line

Photos of the “Spanish Sea Monster” and the dead “Loch Ness Monster” of Scotland are actually a shark carcass which washed ashore in Spain in August 2013.


Updated July 26, 2015
Originally published August 2013

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