Jeff Warren of Waycross, Georgia was returning from a boating trip to Wolf Island National Wildlife Refuge when he and his son encountered the beached carcass of what looks a lot like a miniature Loch Ness Monster.
Several local news outlets reported that Warren originally thought the decaying corpse — which he estimated to be about 4 or 5 feet long — was the body of a seal. But on closer inspection, he was baffled by the creature’s “prehistoric” appearance, including an elongated neck — like that of a Plesiosaur.
Warren shot the video featured in the newscast above, and later showed it to locals at a nearby restaurant; they told him the creature looked a lot like the legendary Altamaha-ha, or “Alty” for short — a monster rumored to live in those same waters.
Though the body has since disappeared, many experts believe the carcass was most likely that of a shark, which had decomposed until it became difficult to identify [much like this creature, found in Indonesia last year].
“[A] basking shark looks surprisingly like a mythological/prehistoric sea serpent when it decomposes,” said Tara Cox, Associate Professor of Marine Sciences at Savannah State University, in an email to the Savannah Morning News. However, the same paper quotes other sources who believe the creature was a hoax, fabricated to look like the legendary “Alty.”
“Whoever did it did a good job,” says John “Crawfish” Crawford of UGA Marine Extension and Georgia Sea Grant. “My son, who is twelve, thinks it is the child of the legendary Altamaha-ha and has now decided he wants to be a marine biologist.”