"Hark! A Sea Monster! (Oh, No, Just a Dying Whale)"

"All those strange sea monster sightings in days of yore? This may be the best explanation yet."

"Captain George Drevar and the crew of the sailing ship Pauline were off the coast of Brazil in 1875 when they witnessed a battle between two titans of the sea: a sperm whale and a monstrous sea serpent.

Over the span of 15 minutes, Drevar watched as the serpent coiled itself around the whale and attempted to pull it below the surface. Occasionally, the battle dipped out of sight, only to rise again. Eventually the serpent prevailed, and the whale was dragged to the dark depths “where no doubt it was gorged at the serpent’s leisure,” Drevar wrote in a statement.

From today’s scientific vantage, it’s difficult to imagine what Drevar saw—no known animal remotely fits the description. Yet Robert France, an ecologist at Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia, thinks he can explain Drevar’s and other sailors’ sea monster tales. France suggests the incident was indeed a battle, but between a dying whale and the discarded fishing gear that was pulling it under."

Alexander Deedy reports for Hakai Magazine February 8, 2017.

Source: Hakai, 02/10/2017