It is often said about the sea, that we know even less about it than we do about the cosmos. Whenever something grotesque and enigmatic washes ashore from the deepest depths, we get a grisly reminder of that fact.Here's a collection of sea creatures that washed up on beaches and other weird washed-up animals. Some have been relieved of their mystery by modern biology, while some have passed into legend as myths. But as long as they appear, we'll always be fascinated, or grossed out, by these animals that washed up onshore and by all manner of creepy beached sea creatures.
Headless RubberPhoto: The Western StarFishermen from the Newfoundland's Bay of Islands were stumped with this one - this 15-foot-long headless creature apparently had a 10-foot-long tail. Officials of Canada’s Department of Fisheries and Oceans still haven't released any statement about what the creature actually was even though it was first recovered in February 2010.
Trunko The Organic MassPhoto: Fair Use / Wikimedia Commons
In 1924, a strange blob appeared on the coast of South Africa. The mass - technically called a globster, but unofficially called Trunko - was described as looking like a fish/polar bear hybrid and it was reportedly seen "battling" killer whales before ending up on the beach.
Scientists never tested the creature to see what it was, but some speculate it was a some sort of whale. The sea creature horrified onlookers, whatever it was. Researchers are still unsure what exactly this mass was, and only four photographs of it exist today.
Giant SpongePhoto: JOHN BISSET / The Timaru HeraldOctober 28, 2009 was an eventful day for the people of Temuka, a 4,000-person town on the eastern coast of New Zealand’s South Island. With eyes and ribs or tentacles on both sides of the beached creature, eyewitnesses might have concluded it was an alien, but scientists revealed that the blob was actually the top of a sperm whale's head. No sign of the rest of the whale.
Tentacle TipPhoto: Lucas Meadows / pandawhaleThis thing looks like it should be wrapping itself around the mast of the Black Pearl. Residents who discovered this washed-up animal on South Carolina’s Folly Beach in March 2012 may have felt like they were in the Pirates of the Caribbean movie. But the truth of the creature might actually be equally impressive: a local vet identified it as an Atlantic sturgeon, an ancient creature can grow as long as 15 feet and weigh as much as 800 pounds.