The Weirdest Sea Creatures That Have Washed Up on Beaches

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 Rubber

    Click here to view the creature.

    Fishermen 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 Mass

    Trunko The Organic Mass
    Photo: A.C. Jones / Wikipedia / Fair Use

    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 Sponge

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    October 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 Tip

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    This 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 that can grow as long as 15 feet and weigh as much as 800 pounds.

  • Frilled Shark

    Frilled Shark
    Video: YouTube

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    Scientists believe that this creature may have inspired several mythological and folk tales about serpentine sea monsters. It's actually a deep-sea kind of shark. This nightmarish specimen was found near the Lakes Entrance off southeastern Victoria, Australia, in January 2015. They have been encountered at depths greater than 1000 meters below sea level and can grow up to double digit meters long.

  • Alien Spore

    Alien Spore
    Photo: National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science / Wikimedia Commons / Public domain

    On August 3, 2011, the shores of Northwestern Alaska were totally overrun by billions of tiny orange spores. Before any Independence Day- or Andromeda Strain-like scenarios occurred, scientists identified the spores as native terrestrial. They were actually fungal spores from a type of plant rust.