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Sunday, December 3, 2023

Decemystery (2022.3) 3: The Alvin Sea Serpent

I’m pretty sure that at some point in this blog, I mentioned that one of my earliest dreams was to be a marine biologist. If I didn’t, then I have now. Sea life fascinated me to no end as a child, and even nowadays, it does. I love to swim, I hope to take scuba lessons at some point in the near future, and sea cryptids are easily some of my favorites to read about.

With that said, I must concede that the sea is a terrifying place. It’s easy to die, there are plenty of ways to become stranded, and you never know what may mistake you for a tasty meal. And don’t get me started on the horror story that is narcosis. I’m surprised I haven’t seen a movie incorporate that to mess with the audience’s heads for a bit.

I digress, though. We aren’t here to fear the ocean and its many ways to kill us. No, we are here to look at one of its deepest secrets—quite literally. Back in 2020, I went over the Mariana Trench Sea Serpent (and bone pit), which I should rewrite since it’s a rather poorly written and researched piece. Despite that, that cryptid is unique for how deep underwater it was seen; today’s story is a very similar case.

Known as the Alvin Sea Serpent, this creature holds the distinction of being considered the deepest aquatic cryptid ever to be seen at a staggering 5,000 feet (1,524 meters). That’s nearly a mile (1.6 kilometers) under the sea! So come along; let’s investigate one of cryptozoology’s deepest enigmas!

A Quick Summary of the Different Types of Sea Serpents

Before we even get going, actually, let me get one thing out of the way. I considered explaining this during the story, but I don’t want to butcher the pacing six ways from Sunday. To be as quick about this: Bernard Heuvelmans—who’s often referred to as the “Father of Cryptozoology”—devised a system that categorized different types of sea serpents, nine to be precise. Though, nowadays, there are ten. I want to quickly go over them because I don’t believe I have in the past, and, in my opinion, that’s inexcusable. The classification of the sea serpent in today’s story is also relevant to the story as a whole.

I gathered all the information (see: I just parroted most of it) for this section from the cryptidarchives wiki page (which is where I found most of the info for today’s story). They are as follows (along with drawings to showcase what they look like):

The Many-Humped Sea Serpent

These fellows are distinguished by their many humps. Ranking as one of the most iconic types of sea serpent (alongside the next one), it’s seen in both lakes and oceans around the world.

The Longneck

Sometimes spelled as “long-neck,” this is, without a doubt, the most recognizable type of sea serpent. Known for their long necks (I know, a real jaw-dropping statement right there), they’ve been seen in practically every corner of the world. Throughout history, reports of longnecks have been documented by scholars; explanations have been put forth to debunk them, but none have ever been universally accepted. One of the more popular ones—and stranger sounding—is that it’s a seal. Keep this in mind for later.


Looking like something out of a Disney movie (I wouldn’t be shocked if one was featured in one of their movies, and I’m just oblivious); the Merhorse is a relatively commonly seen sea serpent. Apparently, the only places it hasn’t been seen are the Indian Ocean and the polar seas. Mind you, that claim comes from Heuvelmans’ 1968 book In the Wake of the Sea-Serpents, so it’s possible that’s since changed; I didn’t go out of my way to check for sea serpent reports. Anyway, Merhorses—like any good quasi-Disney character, have large eyes, manes (like horses), and whiskers. They also sport long necks, leading some cryptozoologists to believe they may be related to Longnecks in some capacity. Personally, I think they made sure not to skip neck day.

The Father-of-all-the-Turtles

It’s turtles all the way down!

This isn’t even a sea serpent, but it’s listed, and I’d be remiss if I left it off. After all, I’ve covered a story about a massive turtle (the Zaratan), and I obsess over including details. Also, giant animals are always a fun topic.

As its name (rather vaguely) implies: this is a gargantuan turtle. Reports of such creatures have been reported for centuries, and legends have existed for even longer. Heck, some even say we live on the back of a big ol’ turtle that’s making its merry way through space. Not sure how I feel about living on a turtle. I worry the property rates will go up.

While my concerns about the economy are left to fester in my mind, there are theories as to what this so-called father turtle is (or was). Explanations range from sailors seeing upside-down humpback whales to other species of turtles they weren’t familiar with. Still, some claim that enormous turtles have yet to be discovered.

As a little bonus: Heuvelmans later nixed this beast from his system on account of his doubts that it existed. Despite this, other cryptozoologists reincluded it in their own versions of the same system. Never underestimate the love for turtles.


Heuvelmans used this classification for “reports of giant eels and serpentine sharks.” He subsequently proposed the name “snark” for the creature. Very clever. I personally would have gone with “Eehark” because it’s the same sound you’d make as the Super-Eel turns your bones into ingredients for an underwater milkshake.


The arch nemesis of the Super-Eel within the pages of a comic series in another dimension, the Super-Otter is a bizarrely well-documented sea serpent in Scandinavia and its neighboring nations. Heuvelmans theorized that the creature resided in the Arctic until summer, when it would migrate to the Norwegian Sea. I didn’t realize Arctic summers were so unbearable.

The Many-Finned Sea Serpent

This is what the Con Rit is (or, rather, it was). If you don’t remember that story: I don’t blame you; I wrote about that thing back in 2019 and had never referenced it until now. Described as a sea serpent with numerous fins, this fellow looks like an aquatic centipede. That alone makes me afraid to go into the water.

Even though cryptozoology is no stranger to incredibly baffling stories, this type of sea serpent has been quite divisive. Karl Shuker—a famous cryptozoologist—has called it the most “controversial” of Heuvelmans’ sea serpent categories, with some cryptozoologists outright rejecting it. Quite astounding that this is what causes division in the cryptozoology community. I guess life’s full of surprises, though.

Marine Saurian

Florida’s a scary place. Florida in the oceans is scarier.

Described as the sea serpent equivalent of an alligator or crocodile, the Marine Saurian is thought to be a living mosasaur, out-of-place saltwater crocodile, or a surviving Thalattosuchian. If you want to search for it, go to a tropical area or New Zealand because that’s where it’s often seen. If you opt to go to the latter, make sure to keep an eye out for the Moa, which some claim is still alive and kicking.


I didn’t realize Brad Keselowski had a pet sea serpent.

Apparently, Heuvelmans axed this category from his system, and no other cryptozoologist has ever used it again; it’s since been explained as salp chains. When it was in use, it categorized massive tadpole-like creatures that were between 60 and 100 feet (18 and 30 meters) in length. Despite the name, they didn’t have yellow bellies. Rather, they were completely yellow. Because of this deception, I will be suing the ghost of Bernard Heuvelmans. Also, this thing sounds like the sea creature equivalent of a Simpsons character.

As a brief addendum: this type apparently originated from some encounter the Wiki calls the 1876 “Nestor” sighting. I did a bit of digging because the Wiki doesn’t have a page on it. Luckily, I found a blog that had an article on it. I skimmed the article, and from what I could gather: the crews of some ships saw a comically large sea monster that was anywhere from 40 feet (12 meters) to 250 feet (76 meters). I’m gonna go out on a limb and say they need to lay off the liquor when at sea. I’ll write about this in the future, nonetheless.

Giant Invertebrates

Rounding things off are giant invertebrates. This type is in a bit of a grey area. It’s not known if Heuvelmans wanted it ever to be a category. That hasn’t stopped some cryptozoologists from including it, though! As the name implies, this type of sea serpent includes reports of gigantic invertebrates including, but not limited to, tunicates, ctenophores, cnidarians, and ribbon worms. Now when can we get giant siphonophores?

The most notable report of a giant invertebrate is that of Marvin the Monster, a creature photographed by the ROV Mobot in 1962. The image (which you can see below) was spotted off the Pacific coast of the United States. Over 60 years later, “Marvin” remains unidentified. Perhaps we’ll cover him more later this month—or maybe we won’t. I honestly don’t know because I can’t be asked to actually plan 64 write-ups in advance without hitting a bunch of bumps in the road.

While there are plenty of other kinds of sea cryptids that sailors and passersby have reported seeing across the centuries, the ones above are the ones we need to know about—both for this write-up and future ones. As you can tell, there’s more to sea serpents than just “a strange thing in the water.” They come in all shapes and sizes. Now that you know that (though I imagine you likely had some inkling of knowledge prior to my rambling), let’s get to the story.

The Story, 833-Fathoms Under the Sea

July 1965—or 1969, according to some (it varies depending on your source). The location: the Bahamas, specifically an area known as the “Tongue of the Ocean,” which is between the islands of Andros and New Providence. I won’t lie, I had never heard of this area prior to reading about this encounter, but it’s pretty cool to learn about deep parts of the ocean.

Engineers Marvin McCamis and Bill Rainnie were exploring this location in a submersible named Alvin, which they had designed. Looking out of the window, the two could see an array of things: 

  • Water

  • Murky darkness 

  • The dying hope of those waiting for Skull & Bones several decades early

  • A large sea serpent with a long neck

Indeed, that’s more or less the entire story; there isn’t a whole lot else to go off of. In fact, the original reports of the encounter were aggressively brief. Don’t take my word for it, though; I’ll let McCamis himself do the talking.

[T]hen I seen this monster or somethin’. I turned around sharply and it’s gone. Kind of shook me up. This was a living creature ... I seen at least forty or fifty foot (12 or 14 meters) of it.

This “somethin’” would later become known as the Alvin Sea Serpent for reasons I don’t believe I need to explain. It would also be the only sighting of it—though it wouldn’t be the only time McCamis spoke about it.

McCamis purportedly jotted down the sighting in the sub’s “wet log.” However, someone nixed the passage—presumably because it sounded too fantastical (or absurd). Lacking proof that he saw a long-necked reptilian sea beast, McCamis was hesitant to speak about the experience.

That is, until he wasn’t hesitant. McCamis would later relay his story to Charles Berlitz, a Fortean researcher who coincidentally shares the same first name as Charles Fortean. Yes, that was a necessary detail in my eyes. Anyway, Berlitz spoke to McCamis about his close encounter with the aquatic cryptid kind and later published it in his 1977 book Without a Trace. Here’s what McCamis told Berlitz; I’ve added meters/kilometers for those who use the metric system:

We were down about 5000 feet (1.5 kilometers) and then I went down into a crevasse about 300 feet (91 meters) deeper under a slight outcrop. We went deeper because the cable we were following spanned the crevasse. It was right there that I spotted it. The first thing I noticed was the movement. I thought we were moving along the cable and checked for drift but found that the sub was stationary and that it was the object that was moving. It then occurred to me that perhaps it was a utility pole, especially because of its thick shape. I swung the sub in an arc to get a better view along the cable or pole or whatever it was, when I was astonished to see a thick body with flippers, a long neck, a snakelike head with two eyes looking right at us. It looked like a big lizard with flippers - it had two sets of them. Then it swam upwards with its back turned before we could get the cameras angled. They were set to photograph 15 to 25 feet (4.5 to 7.6 meters) in front of the submarine and the thing had already swum out of the camera angle but was still around. I didn't like the way things were happening, so I came up. I couldn't believe what I was seeing but I didn't want to hang around.

Berlitz would also write that the encounter took place in July 1969 and would do so every other time he mentioned the story in one of his books. This claim is what led to the inconsistency on when the sighting took place; McCamis would later tell Scott Mardis in 1999 that the sighting actually occurred in July 1965 since the Alvin wasn’t being used in 1969. It was, in fact, not the summer of ‘69 for the Alvin.

Sometime later, J. Manson Valentine—a colleague of Berlitz—caught up with McCamis and spoke with him. Valentine, an entomologist and artist interested in “esoteric archaeology” (no, I have absolutely no idea what that is), was interested in seeing if perhaps he could help McCamis identify what he saw. Using his advanced knowledge of doodling, he produced a sketch of a plesiosaur. McCamis replied, stating that that’s “exactly what [he] saw.”

At some point in time that I can’t find (most likely around the time Without a Trace was published), J. Richard Greenwell interviewed McCamis. Greenwell, a member of the International Society of Cryptozoology, would unfortunately never see the interview get published. The society ultimately stopped publication prior to it being featured in its newsletter. The sobbing emoji goes here.

That’s, much to my disappointment, where the story comes to an end. The Alvin Sea Serpent is the epitome of a “one and done” cryptid; it was seen only once and destined to be remembered as such. Unless someone else makes the treacherous journey 833 fathoms down, it’ll almost certainly remain one of cryptozoology’s most incredible stories. Still, I decided to try and seek out more, so let’s get into that.

My Own Seafaring Investigation

As much as I’d love to say that I went to the Bahamas and took a submersible 5,000 feet underwater, I had neither the money nor the expertise to do that—though the latter appears to be an obsolete necessity given what happened with OceanGate earlier this year. So perhaps if I can scavenge a few thousand dollars, I could do my own deep-dive to find this thing in the future. Until that day, all I did was use various search engines for additional information while listening to Bon Jovi and Eiffel 65. I know, truly exhilarating and worthy of some sort of award.

The first thing I learned was that, much to my astonishment, the story is nowhere near as obscure as I thought. I didn’t mention it earlier, but I found it bizarre how it was only recently that I heard about this creature. I spent a large part of my childhood reading about cryptids, and this was one that I never once came across. Maybe I did, and I forgot about it, but I can’t recall ever reading or hearing about it.

Evidently, I wasn’t looking hard enough, as there are quite a few articles about the sea serpent online, along with a fair number of posts on Reddit from subreddits I’m subscribed to. So either my eyesight is worse than I thought, or Spez, Google, and Bing didn’t want me to read about this creature. It wouldn’t be the dumbest thing any of those three have done if you ask me.

Once I was done reading the posts—which was a lot more fun said than done since it was the same stuff I’d read and heard already, I contemplated my next move. That’s probably the single most comical thing I’ve ever written. Me, thinking. Sure.

Anyway, after several seconds of blankly staring at my ceiling, I reached out to McCamis for a comment, but as it turns out: you can’t get a response from someone who’s been dead for 19 years. I’m too cheap to buy a Ouija Board, so I guess I can’t pretend I’m a real researcher today.

After that, I got bored and listened to more Bon Jovi and began envisioning a cryptid version of Wanted Dead or Alive where the cowboy is Steller’s Sea Cow and the steel horse is the Merhorse species of marine cryptids. ‘Cause I’m a sea cow on a steel Merhorse; I’m wanted (wanted) dead or alive!

Finally, I accepted that there wasn’t anything else to find; the story, as I conveyed before, is all there really is. There are (thankfully) no variations to it whatsoever. McCamis and Rainnie saw the creature, and that’s all she wrote.

With that, the tale of the Alvin Sea Serpent comes to a close. I have no idea why it’s not talked about more, given the sheer depth this creature was seen, but I suppose it isn’t as well documented as many lake monsters. I also guess it wouldn’t be very easy (or safe) to go and try to search for it like, say, Nessie, Champ, or the dozens of other aquatic cryptids. Still, I tried my best to find something more to the story but came up empty-handed. Lucky for us, though, there are plenty of theories to talk about, so let’s dive into them! 


1. It was a plesiosaur

Ain’t no asteroid can hold my fossil down.

The inaugural theory is that the creature was a plesiosaur. If this at all surprises you, how on Earth did you find this blog without needing help from a parent or guardian?

Plesiosaur sightings are by no means something novel. In fact, I’m willing to say that most sea serpent reports claim that the creature looked like one of them—which is to be expected given most reports are the longneck variety. Given how plesiosaurs had elongated necks, it’s not that crazy to see why people would think this was a sighting of one.

Now, I don’t want to get into the specifics of plesiosaur sightings as a whole; I know that may seem like a cop-out to some, but that topic is so complicated and controversial that it has no place in this write-up. Though I firmly believe that I should’ve already gotten to it by now. Alas, life finds a way to screw me over at every turn. Anyway, while I won’t dive into the deeper aspects of the theory, I will try to go over some of them.

The main idea behind the theory is that sea serpents—specifically those of the longneck variety—are plesiosaurs. They share a lot of similarities to the marine reptiles of yore: elongated necks, four flippers, usually of a similar length, and a small tail. For all intents and purposes: longnecks are strikingly similar to the ocean’s old-time inhabitants; at least one type of them.

That said, there are a fair few obvious flaws with the theory. Namely: all of these sightings are just that—sightings. If you want to be really blunt about it, proponents of this theory have little to go off of aside from reports from eyewitness reports; that’s very difficult to put stock into since eyewitness accounts are incredibly unreliable. There are photos and videos of what some claim to be plesiosaurs, but they’re often low quality and, in some cases, can be explained as misidentification or an outright hoax.

There are, however, some instances where the evidence presented is fairly compelling, and the case of the Alvin Sea Serpent is one of those instances. Marvin McCamis and Bill Rainnie were both veteran divers; they had done this plenty of times before. They knew the ocean well and what inhabits it. So while eyewitness testimonies aren’t particularly reliable, the word of someone who’s done something many times before has more gravitas to it than the word of a random guy who was snorkeling in a lake and claims to have seen an Ichthyosaurus or Liopleurodon looking back at him.

There’s much more to this theory at its core than I’ve written here; I could go into the ins and outs of why people believe in this theory and why many more dismiss it. However, as I said before, I don’t want to make this write-up into something that it isn’t (which is a discussion on the plausibility of living plesiosaurs and other marine reptiles). So, for now, I’ll leave it as is. If you wish to read something that goes into a bit more detail, read a piece that Bizarre Zoology did on the Alvin Sea Serpent. It gets into some pretty interesting stuff, and the comments are just as fascinating.

2. It was a long-necked seal

This theory is why we went over the Heuvelmans System all the at the start, so I wouldn’t have to do it now (or during the story itself). Isn’t it great getting stuff out of the way? Maybe not; this is me we are talking about, and I can drag things out for ages.

At the end of the Longneck’s summary, I brought up that a popular theory is that they’re a type of seal. At first glance, that may seem ridiculous—and to skeptics, it’s that and much more. However, in the world of cryptozoology, it’s one of the most talked about theories when it comes to sea serpent encounters.

For the sake of keeping this theory under the length of a college thesis, I’m going to say right now: if you want a more thorough analysis of this, read Karl Shuker’s blog. He did a two-part series on the creature; click here for part one and click here for part two. The reason I won’t get into more detail is simply because I don’t want to derail this write-up.

Now, then, let’s get into the theory itself. While at first glance it may seem like the most ridiculous thing since people claimed Jay-Z is a time-traveling vampire (yes, that’s a real conspiracy), there is some “truth” to it. For starters, seals can dive to incredible depths; Elephant Seals can dive to a staggering 5,577 feet (1.7 kilometers). For Imperial System users, that’s just over a mile. That’s also right around the depth the Alvin was at, but Elephant Seals are native to the Pacific Ocean and aren’t found in the Atlantic. You can argue that some got displaced, but I’m not about to go on a tangent about that.

Other species of seals are capable of diving to impressive depths too. Harbor Seals can dive to depths of 1,500 feet (457 meters). While certainly nowhere close to an Elephant Seal, it’s still incredible how far a Harbor Seal can dive.

Moving on, one other factor that needs to be brought up is how seals can extend their necks. While they aren’t going to rival Mr. Fantastic or Stretch Armstrong for the “stretchiest thing alive,” seals are capable of stretching their necks out to grab prey. Pretty neat if you ask me.

Now, let’s circle back to the theory itself. The idea of the long-necked seal posits that there’s an undiscovered species of seal with a long neck—and not living plesiosaurs—that’s been the cause of sea serpent sightings. This idea has been used to explain a ton of lake and sea serpent reports, ranging from Nessie to the focus of today’s story, and it’s been accepted and laughed off in equal measure.

Believers of the theory tend to point to the vastness of the ocean; there’s still a lot of it we have yet to explore. A fair number of sea serpent sightings also include sightings of them on land. People have seen Nessie and Ogopogo (Canada’s version of Nessie) on dryland. In the case of the latter, I recall a report of Lake Okanagan’s legendary beast sunning itself on a rock. Yes, I’m serious. Even lake monsters need a tan to impress the lake monster ladies. Jokes aside, seals are known for lounging around on land, so this does line up with their behavior. 

However, there are some flaws with this theory. For starters, there’s the obvious issue of no proof. No one has killed a “long-necked seal,” nor has a corpse ever been found. Photos and videos of sea serpents have been taken, but there has yet to be any hard evidence.

The next issue is the behavior doesn’t always add up. I’m no zoologist, but from my observation, long-necked seals don’t fully align with their not-so-long-necked counterparts. From what I know, seals spend roughly half their day in the water and the other on land. From the sound of it, long-necked seals spend almost all of their day (heck, probably most of their life) in the water. I’m pretty sure if they were seals, they would’ve been discovered lying on a rock by now.

The next issue—and the final one I’ll go over since I think this segment has gone on for long enough—is their appearance. Most reports of sea serpents claim that the creature was “reptilian.” As you likely know, seals are mammals and not reptiles. If you did not know this, congratulations; you’ve now learned first-grade science and get a gold star for reading this.

There are a plethora of other issues—and arguments against said issues—that I could get into, but I’d rather save it for its own write-up. As I said before, go read Karl Shuker’s pieces on this topic if you want more; until then, you can either choose to disregard it or go around imagining that there’s a seal out there with a neck that Davy Jones elongated via a rolling pin.

3. It was a case of misidentification

If I had a dime for every time a cryptid sighting was a case of misidentification, I wouldn’t have this blog. I’d be retired at the ripe old age of 27 and living in a cabin in North Dakota. This one adds another dime to that nonexistent collection.

This theory is one of the most popular, and it’s also the one skeptics subscribe to the most. In the majority of cases, it’s said that McCamis and Rannie saw a squid. What type of squid is, from what I can tell, not often given, but one Reddit thread started by a YouTuber named Truth is Scarier than Fiction mentions the Bigfin Squid.

Before I continue, I want to say that Truth is Scarier than Fiction is where I first found out about this story; he did a video entitled Deep Sea Encounters with Cryptids, and it’s a must-watch if you’re into this type of stuff. He’s also done a bunch of other cryptid-related content, so check that out too.

With that said, let’s get back to the squid-related content. The Bigfin Squid is, from what I’ve read, rarely sighted; it’s also a really weird-looking fella, but that’s to be expected since squids are peculiar-looking animals. Though seriously, something about this particular squid is borderline alien. I guess that’s what you get when your genus can live upwards of 20,000 feet/3.8 miles (6,212 meters/6.2k kilometers) under the sea.

My personal opinion aside, the theory that the two men saw a squid remains arguably the most popular theory. Whether or not it was a Bigfin Squid is up for debate since there’s no feasible way to prove that, but the sim lighting coupled with the unreliability of human memory is a perfect combination.

Squids aren’t the only candidate, though. One Reddit user put forth the idea that the men saw a Leopard Seal. I counter this by saying that Leopard Seals dive to a maximum of 997 feet (304 meters). Nowhere did I read that they’re capable of reaching depths quintuple of that. If I’m wrong, I welcome the correction.

Other theories that I’ve seen are that McCamis and Rainnie saw a shark or possibly a whale. Both animals have been known to dive to incredible depths and are considerably better candidates than a Leopard Seal, though I think a whale would be easier to identify than a plesiosaur. Though, what do I know? I never stepped foot into my high school, let alone gone 5,000 feet beneath the ocean.

4. It was a hoax (for some reason)

Cryptid stories are the easiest ones to write about for one simple fact: the theories are almost always the same. You have your one that says it was real, your one that says it was a misidentified something or other, and the one that says it was all made up for one reason or another.

In this case, however, I can’t exactly find a real reason as to why it was fabricated. So why did I include it? Simple: I wanted the whole gang to be here, so I invited the hoax theory so it wouldn’t be left out. C’mon, let the fella have some time to mingle with his friends. It ain’t easy being the hoax theory!

5. It was Nessie

Even the most famous aquatic cryptid needs a vacation every now and then.

My Take

I’ve always thought that if there’s any place we’d find a cryptid, it’d be underwater. The ocean is a massive place, and we frequently discover tons of new species every year. So it stands to reason that there’s one cryptid out there that was seen in a lake—or at sea—that does exist.

With that said, the idea of a plesiosaur having survived for millions of years is questionable—not the least of which being, “How the heck did they survive all this time?” There’s also the question, “How did they elude us?”

Both of those questions have answers from two vastly different angles. Earlier, I said I would save the rambling for its own write-up, and I will, but I will delve a bit into it now, mainly because I want to talk about my personal views on it.

Those who believe in the marine reptiles of old adapted to the environment after the dinosaurs took a siesta to the afterlife. Indeed, while the reptilian land giants died off, the mass extinction event could not claim their aquatic brethren. There ain’t no asteroid can hold my oceanic body down.

No, I won’t stop making awful jokes relating to that song.

On the other end of the argument, you have those who denounce this theory. The main rebuke is how plesiosaurs appear to have not evolved whatsoever in the tens of millions of years since the Cretaceous extinction event. Despite the enormous changes that took place after the asteroid torpedoed Earth, wiping out almost all life on it in the process, it appears that plesiosaurs haven’t changed whatsoever. This is even more incredible given more extinction events took place in the millennia after the Cretaceous period came to an apocalyptic close.

Of course, some people rebuke this rebuking by pointing to the Coelacanth. Once thought to have gone extinct millions of years ago, the Coelacanth was found to be alive and swimming off the shores of Africa. It’s now a prime example of a living fossil and is often used as an example of how plesiosaurs could still be living deep underwater.

This rebuking of a rebuking is often rebuked, however, by pointing out that Coelacanths are extremely different from plesiosaurs. Like, the two could not be any more different unless you added Reddit-tier tomfoolery to one of them. Please don’t do that; it would be unbearable to look at or read.

With that said, I fall somewhere in the middle when it comes to this theory. It’s one I really find myself at odds with. On the one hand, I don’t think plesiosaurs being alive is the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard. I mean, given the amount of wild stuff I’ve written about on this blog—be it aliens that wanted to cook pancakes or most of those conspiracy theories from the two Megalists—the idea of living plesiosaurs is as down-to-earth as you can get.

The ocean is also a gargantuan place; over 90% of it hasn’t been explored. Couple that with how difficult it is to explore the deepest parts of it, and I don’t think it’s that hard for something like a plesiosaur to be undiscovered. Perhaps a descendant or something akin to that. However, we’re talking about the real deal being alive and metaphorically kicking, so let’s not skirt around that.

With that said, my skepticism is definitely equal to, if not greater than, my belief in living plesiosaurs. For starters, I can never fully grasp us not having found some sign of them being alive. Unless the powers that be are covering up their continued existence (which I do believe is a real theory, but that’s a potential topic for another time), I simply cannot let go of that. We would have surely found some sign of them—be it a skeleton or something along those lines.

Then there’s their apparent lack of evolution. This is something I really struggle to grasp. Over the millions upon millions of years since the time of the dinosaurs, and yet they haven’t changed at all? That really boggles my mind. Though I guess I can believe it a bit more than living dinosaurs themselves. After all, if the Coelacanth can survive, maybe plesiosaurs hit the genetic lottery throughout the millennia.

All of that said, I must admit I’m on the fence; that’s nothing new when it comes to me, though, as I’m often at odds with myself on a lot of things. So I can’t exactly say one way or the other if I fully believe plesiosaurs are alive or not. So, now that you know my stance, let’s jump into my views on the different theories on rapid-fire mode.

Long-necked seals are definitely a thing—and they’re a thing that I find rather unusual. While I was quite snarky towards the end of that theory’s segment, I did so mostly for the sake of humor. In reality, my standpoint on them falls into the same grey area that my stance on living plesiosaurs is, if a bit closer to being considered a skeptic. I can definitely see where the idea comes from; the behavior of some sea serpents is definitely reminiscent of seals. However, it’s anything but consistent. If there really are long-necked seals out there in the lakes and oceans of the world, then I’m hesitant to say they’re closely related. Though I’m not a zoologist or biologist, I hated taking biology when I was in school, and to this day, when someone brings it up, I immediately leave the conversation. So feel free to correct any and all mistakes I made in this write-up—and will inevitably make in future ones!

As for the theory that it’s a hoax: I sincerely doubt that. I don’t understand why two experienced divers would decide one day to fabricate a sea serpent sighting, especially when it would risk their reputation. They had nothing to gain from it and everything to lose; there’s absolutely no way this theory is true.

I do low-key subscribe to the theory that it was Nessie; I wholeheartedly believe she needed some time away from Scotland, and the Bahamas was the perfect getaway. You can’t change my mind, and if you try: I will not listen to you.

Now for the theory that I subscribe to. In my honest opinion, I think this was a case of misidentification. I know I joked about how common that explanation is, but I do genuinely believe that’s what happened here. When you’re nearly a mile underwater with minimal lighting, it’s unlikely you’ll get a good look at practically everything. Combine that with the unreliable thing known as “memory,” and you have a recipe for a story like this one. 

As for what exactly McCamis saw, I think it was a squid—but what kind exactly, I don’t know. I do believe a Bigfin Squid is a strong candidate, though. Anyway, odds are, he saw the part of the body and mistook the fins for a flipper. Again, human memory is an extraordinarily unreliable thing; you can’t trust it to remember what happened with 100% accuracy, especially when it was something you didn’t get a very good look at. I can vouch for this, as I’ve misidentified plenty of animals (heck, plenty of things) when I don’t get a solid look at them. I recall once, I saw a bear crossing the street, and initially, I thought it was a cat. I’m pretty sure I’ve brought up that story on this blog before, but if I haven’t: now you know.

In another instance, I mistook a house centipede for a silverfish and a house centipede for an absolutely enormous spider (though in my defense here, I saw it scurrying down the wall, and holy smokes, those things move fast). My point is that when you don’t get a clear look at something, you can mistake it for something else. Couple that with trying to fill in the blanks without having a complete picture, and you can get something completely different than what it actually is.

One other thing I want to mention is that in Truth is Scarier than Fiction’s Deep Sea Encounters with Cryptids video, he says how McCamis might have been inadvertently influenced by the sketch of the plesiosaur. Basically, in seeing it, he subconsciously convinced himself that that’s what he saw. This isn’t the fault of him or J. Manson Valentine—the man who produced the sketch. It’s more a human fault that we all have; even those who try their best to not succumb to this may, at times, do so because they want an answer to a burning question they have.

Though, hey, what do I know? I’m just some nobody with a blog. Perhaps the odds aren’t in the house’s favor for once, and there is a living plesiosaur living deep underwater, waiting to be discovered by marine biologists.


The ocean is a vast, mysterious place; she holds many secrets and takes as much as she gives. My poetic hoopla aside, I’d love to one day go on some sort of expedition to see the deep sea for myself, but for now, I can only write about it. I only hope you enjoy reading about it as much as I adore writing about it. Until next time, stay happy, stay healthy, and thank you for reading!

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