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Friday, July 9, 2021

Mystery: The Antarctic Godzilla


Let’s take a trip back to the middle of 2019. I’d just lost my girlfriend because of a gnarly break up, I was lonely, but I still had World of Warcraft to play. All was technically okay, except it totally wasn’t. Lucky for me though, I had an ace up my sleeve: writing. That’s why throughout most of 2019, I didn’t write a dang thing. However, I did have a plethora of ideas, one of which is the center of today’s story.

You see, back in 2019, I had been looking into these things called “Ningens”, which were reported by Japanese sailors. They’re basically aquatic humans that live in the Antarctic sea and are said to be really dang big (well over 10 feet/3 meters). If you want to know more, I did a rather short write-up on them for 2019’s Decemystery. It’s minimalistic, but I think it gets the point across somewhat well.

Anyways, while doing research on the Ningen, I came across another story which not only was reported by Japanese sailors, but also happens to take place in Antarctica. It’s called the Antarctic Godzilla, and it was originally slated to be covered during Decemystery 2019….

Then Decemystery 2020.

Then in this year’s Decemystery.

Finally, I decided to cover it today, because there’s honestly next to nothing in the way of information when it comes to this story. So let’s dive into this whale of a tale and see what the truth behind it is.

Spoiler: it isn’t actually Godzilla.

The Story

Also known as the “Large Antarctic Sea Mammal”, the story of the Antarctic Godzilla took place on February 13, 1958. After receiving assistance from the United States on account of being stuck near some glacial ice, the Japanese research vessel “Soya” was sailing in the open sweaters when most of the crew saw a sight most peculiar.

300 meters (984 feet) from the ship, a creature breached the surface. Its head was estimated to be 70–80 centimeters (27–31 inches) in length and sported dark-brown fur (which was estimated to be 10 centimeters/3.9 inches long) that covered its entire body. The face was said to have looked like a cow, but the top of its head was round “like a monkeys”. It also had large eyes, pointed ears, and oddest of all: shoulders. The encounter lasted for all of thirty seconds before the creature descended back into the water. No photos were taken on account of another crew member having the camera; the captain not being quick enough to get it and come back.

This is the one and only sighting of this creature to ever be recorded. While Antarctica has had its fair share of enigmatic sightings, nothing like this creature has ever been seen since—sort of we’ll get to that in a little while). So… I must unfortunately say that that’s where the story ends. I know, it’s ridiculously short, but attempting to find anything else was futile. I tried searching under other names, but it appears that’s it. The one and only thing of note that I found was a DeviantArt drawing which mentioned another cryptid known as the Kabagon. I’m mildly aware of this creature and I’ll likely cover it in the future when I feel like it. Hopefully it won’t be two years from now.

Anyways, with the story out of the way, let’s get onto the theories. There are a fair few of them, but most have little to say, which is great because it fits in with the theme of “there’s little to nothing on this story”.


1. It was a hoax

The first theory states that the entire thing was made up. This is par for the course when it comes to any sort of reported sea creature sighting, though in this case, both skeptics and believers both agree on this in the sense that… well, there doesn’t appear to be a reason as to why it’d be faked.

Generally, when it comes to a hoax, there’s one of three driving forces behind it. Fame, fortune, and to prove a point. However, none of those ever occurred with this story. The captain, nor his crew, gained anything from this report, and no point was proven because this was prior to the Ningen sightings. As such, there doesn’t appear to be any motivation for a hoax—and given the lack of research put into the initial sighting, I feel obligated to say that this theory is likely bunk.

2. It was a shared delusion

This theory is the most popular one among skeptics. Basically, thanks to the crew having been trapped out in the hostile Antarctic conditions, they lost their grip on reality and either hallucinated or mistook a leopard seal (or some other known creature) for something massive. Given that most sailors tend to play “follow the leader”, they would’ve backed up what their captain saw and fed into the delusion that there was a massive sea creature.

It is possible they also hallucinated the creature; if they were suffering from hypothermia, they could’ve been seeing something that wasn’t there. However, I don’t know for certain if any of them were suffering from that. If they were, then I’m somewhat surprised none of them died.

3. It was a beluga

While they’re native to the arctic area, there’s a theory that the adorable melon-headed white whale known as the Beluga could in fact be the culprit behind this sighting. I have no idea if these magnificent creatures—or an offshoot of them—are at all native to Antarctica (it doesn’t appear they are), but this theory does posit that an undiscovered subspecies could be, and that it’s what the sailors saw.


If you ever see something big down in the Antarctic, it’s either a whale, a Lovecraftian abomination from worlds not meant to be seen by mortal eyes, or it’s a Ningen. This is also what I meant when I said “we’ll get to that later”.

For our fifth theory, we have the idea that the Antarctic Godzilla was a gigantic Ningen—or a smaller one (depending on which version of the stories you like to believe). There are a fair number of differences when it comes to the appearances of the two creatures, but given the similar location, the mention of shoulders, and size of the two creatures, it’s led some to speculate that it could, at the very least, be an offshoot of the Ningen.

However, there’s one major difference between the two. Ningens aren’t said to have fur, hair, or anything of that sort. So that’s a major strike against this theory. At the same time, it’s entirely possible that this one managed to create this controversial thing called “clothing” that protected it against the frigid air of Antarctica, thereby allowing it to see the breathtaking beauty of the open sea for a period of time before it had to descend back under the water. Well, that’s my theory anyways; please no hate comments.

5. It was a leopard seal

This is a simple theory; it posits that the sailors saw a leopard seal—perhaps an abnormally large one—and mistook it for something else. This has happened a fair bit with people in any field of work, especially if they’re in a place with harsh conditions. Sometimes, you just make a mistake and see something that isn’t what you believe it to be.

6. It was some other undiscovered species (or: A REAL LIFE GODZILLA!)

I have little to say here. It’s a theory that a few hold which posits that the creature was some undiscovered behemoth lurking beneath the waters of Antarctica. Not necessarily a real life radioactive lizard with atomic breath, but perhaps something truly massive which we’ve yet to find. Maybe it’s the creature which made the sound you and I know as Julia!

My Take

Truth be told, I was half tempted to scrap this entire write-up because I couldn’t, for the life of me, make this section work. I have no actual stance on this story; none of the theories really resonate with me. Though for the sake of making things work, I believe this could’ve been a misidentification brought on by the harsh conditions of Antarctica causing the men to mistake a leopard seal for something much bigger and scarier. If it wasn’t that though, then your guess is as good as mine. For all I know, it really was Godzilla—or his tulpa.


I know that not really having much to say when it comes to a write-up isn’t particularly exciting, which is kind of weird given this creature’s called the Antarctic Godzilla. Though I guess that’s a bit of delightful irony. For something so big, there’s very little to it, and it seems it’s destined to say that way given there’s been nothing else related to it in over half a century.

Obligatory Godzilla Sound Effect Video

1 comment:

  1. The ocean is way bigger than a lot of people realize, so I like to think there's some pretty crazy stuff out there that humans rarely (if ever) will get to see, especially around Antarctica. That being said, I'm content to wonder for the rest of my life instead of knowing they're real lol