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  #21  
Old 10-05-2010
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I will stick with our home grown Loch Ness monster.
Saw something unidentified yesterday for first time after having lived next to and driven along the shores of Loch Ness for 11 years!
But as there has been a lot of heavy rain the man made weir at the end of Loch turns into a water chute up which anything thats a good swimmer (usually seals) can make it up the 5 or so miles from the sea.
How to spoil a myth!-so theres not a submarine capable tunnel connecting Loch Ness to to the sea (Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea!)

Last edited by ffiill; 10-05-2010 at 12:53 PM.
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  #22  
Old 10-05-2010
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The fact that the sailor, Shigeo Kitano, is a "Japanese single-hander" makes this story priceless. You're not even safe from godzilla outside Tokyo!
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  #23  
Old 10-05-2010
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Do sea monsters exist? What a fun question! It is a mixed bag, I think. Some clearly do, some are most likely myth.

There are "monsters" I would almost certainly classify as probable myths, but I want to keep an open mind. I say that because sea monsters would be very rare by virtue of their size. In nature, small fierce predators are common but large predators, especially large, fierce predators, are relatively few. The kinds of guys we are talking about here are apex predators, those at the top of their food chain. Apex predators are almost always very few and are often either far between, or clustered in even more rare packs if they are social animals, because of the scarcity of suitable, large prey. There are exceptions, of course, some whale species for instance. As an aside, I should mention that whales are such an anomaly! If I didn't already know about whales and someone told me about a pack of huge animals that feed on microscopic animals but eat only a few months out of the year, go hungry the rest of the time, and migrate thousands of miles I'd ask them what kind of drugs they'd been using.

In general terms, the bottom line is this: if you want to see a new animal of monstrous proportion, either you should feed your pet some of H. G. Wells' Food of the Gods or else you should be prepared to look for a very, very long time. But let's get down to hard facts!

Probable myth example:

The Loch Ness Monster. We've looked for it for over a century and haven't produced a well-documented, scientific encounter yet. Granted, Ness is a large lake, but come on!

Definitely real:

1. The Colossal Squid (Mesonychoteuthis hamiltoni) is my likeliest candidate for the Kraken. We only recently discovered these critters and don't know much of anything about them, especially about their behavior. They normally stay pretty deep (2000 meters or so) but who can say what their minimum depth is or whether they'll come up that far very often? We think they are mostly dinner for sperm whales. We have encountered only a few specimens, and the current (very rough) estimates put its maximum size at 12–14 meters (39–46 feet), mostly based on parts from the stomachs of sperm whales. M. hamiltoni ranges widely in the Southern Hemisphere. The Colossal Squid qualifies in my book because it is an animal of monstrous proportion. What little we know of them is more or less documented in Wikipedia and is quite readable there, as opposed to the scientific papers which are not fun reading at all. If you care to read more, go there.

2. The Manatee (Trichechus) is a poor candidate for the mermaid but it is the best anyone has found.The name comes from the word manatí, meaning "breast." Manatí is a word from the Taíno people, a pre-Columbian civilization that was located in the Caribbean. Mistaking an animal such as the manatee for a beautiful half-woman leads me to believe that the Taíno (and sailors of old) had poor eyesight! [Hey - no comments about ... until they need glasses!] The manatee may be butt-ugly, but these harmless, almost defenseless, gentle semi-tropical aquatic herbivores are clearly real. They are not monsters, they simply suffer an image problem stemming from mistaken identity.

3. The Coelacanth (Latimeria chalumnae), on the other hand, is a monster of an entirely different sort. Coelacanths are lobe-finned fish with the pectoral and anal fins. This throwback was first noted in the fossil record in the middle Devonian and was thought to have become extinct shortly after the Cretaceous ended 65 million years ago - until some fishermen dragged one up in their nets off the coast of South Africa in the '30s. A second, related species, Latimerica enadoensis, was photographed in a fish market in 1998 just before its purchase by a customer. Several more of that one have been found and scientifically documented since. The Coelacanth is not an animal of monstrous proportion; it is a monster in the same sense a small live dinosaur would be -- it seems like a species out of its time. Why? It is kind of a "missing link" between lungfishes and tetrapods.

The Coelacanth is a Lazarus species -- one that disappears from the fossil records only to reappear much, much later -- and it isn't the only example. However, Lazarus taxons are rarely of monstrous proportion. That is not surprising because -- whether by total weight, volume, or numbers -- most species on Earth are tiny. Did you know that, by weight, 99% of Earth's biomass is single-celled or smaller? But I digress.

Can there be more Lazarus taxons in the ocean? How about undiscovered, really big animals? Could be! There are a lot of cubic miles of water and we have not explored all the oceans at all depths everywhere. So when someone tells me they saw a monster, I'm skeptical but I'm also all ears. They may be on to something exciting!

DaCAP
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Last edited by dacap06; 10-06-2010 at 06:04 AM.
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  #24  
Old 10-05-2010
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dacap! dude! where you been man???

Good to see you back around.
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  #25  
Old 10-05-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ffiill View Post
I will stick with our home grown Loch Ness monster.
Saw something unidentified yesterday for first time after having lived next to and driven along the shores of Loch Ness for 11 years!
But as there has been a lot of heavy rain the man made weir at the end of Loch turns into a water chute up which anything thats a good swimmer (usually seals) can make it up the 5 or so miles from the sea.
How to spoil a myth!-so theres not a submarine capable tunnel connecting Loch Ness to to the sea (Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea!)
fill - you really sail on Ness? That is just about as cool as it gets.

Let me know when you need crew!
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  #26  
Old 10-05-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smackdaddy View Post
dacap! dude! where you been man???
Good to see you back around.
Smacky, good to see you too! Hey, it's sailing season! i've been out on my boat, whenever and wherever I could be, every spare minute -- where else? As a matter of fact, DaWIFE and I are cruising the Chesapeake next week! It's finally cool enough to suit her (she's part Polar bear these days) and so we're off!

Luckily, the kids and (and their kid) live with us and will take care of the house and feed the animals. I'll miss the grandkid, but at 18 months he's still just a tad young to put on a boat.

Tom
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  #27  
Old 10-06-2010
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We know more about the surface of the moon than we do of the ocean and it's inhabitants.

It is very possible that there are hundreds, even thousands of species of animals in the ocean that we don't know of yet.

However, most of the 'monsters' I'm sure are simply the perpetually exaggerated tall tales passed on from sailor to sailor.
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Old 10-06-2010
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there r sea monsters in maine or at least were in 1967. i have the story in :tales of th sea: a small book of oddities along the ne coast.probably about 30 feet ,long neck ,small head,it looks like a dinosauer.i am abolutely sure of this as there is a picture of a partial skeleton[head ,neck and one shoulder] it seems that a young lobsterman caught one strangled to death in his lobster gear. his gear wouldnt come up so he called his dad who had a larger boat with a strong hauler.they got it up enough to cut off the afore mentioned chunk..no one wanted the critter for money everone wanted a piece of the critter free including the smithstonion.mr gagnon kept the skeleton in a huge jar for years and finnally threw it to the dump'at about the same time one of these critters was witnessed chewing on a live whale.this story is true ,with pictures of skeleton way before computers or photoshop.the small paperback book probably never got the circulation of this post.
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Old 10-06-2010
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I read the story of our fine freakin' giant squid to the kids last night. They were rapt.

The youngest came into our room at about 3 a.m. convinced his keel was covered in tentacles.
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Old 10-06-2010
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I thought this whole thing was solved back in 2007? Aren't those marks from an aggressive orbital sander on the bottom paint, while removing barnacles?
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