Mystery Mersey Monster

Posted by: Craig Woolheater on May 28th, 2011

A Cryptomundian sent us a link to this report with the following comment:

Did you see this link? It almost looks like a Cadborosaurus head sticking out.A Cryptomundian

Mystery Mersey Monster

Mystery Mersey ‘monster’ baffles marine life experts

A MYSTERY sea creature spotted in the Mersey has experts baffled.

The “monster” was snapped off Seacombe Ferry at 9am yesterday by photographer Mark Harrison.

Paul Renolds, from the Blue Planet Aquarium, who studied the photos, said: “It is virtually impossible to actually identify, but this is the time of year when large numbers of basking sharks, the second largest shark species in the world after whale sharks, head towards waters off the Isle of Man.”

He added: “If it is not a basking shark, it could be a smaller species of whale or a dolphin because there are around 23 different species in UK waters.”Laura Jones
Liverpool Echo

Mystery Mersey Monster

Apparently, the experts have already solved it…

Mystery of Mersey ‘monster’ solved

MARINE experts think they have the answer to an unexplained sighting of a “Mersey monster”.

It was spotted by keen photographer Mark Harrison on Monday, surfacing just off Seacombe Ferry, Wirral, at 9am.

He told the ECHO: “At first, I thought it was a seal.

“I couldn’t make it out, though. Then it disappeared under the water for a few minutes, coming back up further upstream (against the tide) and quite a bit closer.

“It was quite long, and looked to be moving around slowly.

“There was only a few other people around, most of them in a hurry. I wasn’t about to stop anyone to point it out, because I didn’t want to be ‘that bloke’, who’s convinced he’s seen Nessie only for someone to point out it’s a big length of rope or something.”

He put the photographs online as a joke, and added: “Now look – I’m that bloke who thinks he’s seen Nessie.”

Danielle Gibas, sightings officer, Sea Watch Foundation, believes it was a rare sighting of a harbour porpoise in the Mersey.

She said: “Harbour porpoises are notoriously difficult to spot. They surface fleetingly and have such a small dorsal fin that it is often confused with ripples or waves in the water. Contrarily to dolphins, porpoises rarely leap out of the water so you have to be very lucky to notice them at a glance.

“All this means that they are seldom seen even though they are actually common in waters around Liverpool.

“The peak numbers will be occurring from now until October so keep an eye out and don’t forget to report any sightings to the Sea Watch Foundation website.”Liverpool Echo

About Craig Woolheater
Co-founder of Cryptomundo in 2005. I have appeared in or contributed to the following TV programs, documentaries and films: OLN's Mysterious Encounters: "Caddo Critter", Southern Fried Bigfoot, Travel Channel's Weird Travels: "Bigfoot", History Channel's MonsterQuest: "Swamp Stalker", The Wild Man of the Navidad, Destination America's Monsters and Mysteries in America: Texas Terror - Lake Worth Monster, Animal Planet's Finding Bigfoot: Return to Boggy Creek and Beast of the Bayou.

17 Responses to “Mystery Mersey Monster”

  1. TimmyRyan65 responds:

    Probably is a basking shark. The mouth is too wide and apparently toothless to be a porpoise.

  2. Richard888 responds:

    The bloke concern should also affect those who seek to offer conventional explanations, otherwise the conventional explanations can sound far out, like in this case.

    I don’t see how the mystery creature in the two frames could be a harbor porpoise. The mystery creature displays two humps, a harbor porpoise is too robust to bend its body like this. The mystery creature has asymmetric jaws, a harbor porpoise has a beak-like symmetric mouth.

    A beaked whale would be a better candidate. Beaked whales have long flexible bodies and a small dorsal fin. Some beaked whales have a much wider lower jaw though not so crocodile-like as in the 2nd picture.


  3. mandors responds:

    Harbor porpoise? Where’s it’s dorsal?

  4. arewethereyeti responds:

    I’d readily accept some type of cetacean or seal as a common-sense explanation for the first picture.

    However, the second photo gave me pause. At first glance it appeared to show a pair of jaws protruding from the water and sporting a huge pair of fangs/tusks(?) at the extreme front edge of the upper jaw – much too large for even a leopard seal.

    However, a closer look makes me think the “fangs” are actually a pair of wave crests, BEHIND the head, giving the illusion of a wicked-looking pair of teeth. With that in mind, I think I’d have to return to my one of my original suppositions and suggest it is some type of seal.

    Any Cryptomundians know what types of seals, if any, are native to the River Mersey/Liverpool Bay area?

  5. odioustrident responds:

    Elephant seal right?

  6. Mibs responds:

    With all of the anticipation over the Discovery Channel’s possession of apparent Caddy footage, I wonder how many in the Crypto community have pondered the possibility of it being a relative of the Leopard Seal? The photos above really resemble the Leopard Seal, and some images I’ve found of Leopard Seal carcasses show an uncanny resemblance to decayed monsters associated with Caddy and Sea serpents in genera. I realize that Leopard Seals are only known as native to the South Pole, but I wonder how many believe some distant relatives traveled to the Arctic?

  7. sonofthedestroyer responds:

    Could be a type of seal.

    Does not look anything like a shark or a cetacean.

  8. scaryeyes responds:

    Common (Harbour) seals and grey seals are native to British waters – and male greys have a big Roman nose which could possibly account for the bottom photograph.

    Never tried to include a picture before so I hope this works:

    That said, I’m wondering if the bottom photograph actually is an open mouth as it appears to be – maybe a head and a flipper caught at an odd angle? Hard to say.

  9. dermal_ridges_are_proof responds:

    Two extremely intriguing photos. So we have a so called expert pronouncement from the Sea Watch foundation as having solved this mystery? I despair; I had to have a lie down!

    Like other opinions here; the images in the two photos are so lacking in Harbour porpoise characteristics that this sea creature seems altogether different; infact alien in comparison!

    It’s refreshing (like an antidote) to read other bloggers here countering the Sea Watch Foundation’s seemingly blind pronouncement.

    Basking shark? …I’ve watched basking sharks off the Cornish coast for hours at a time over the years, all I’m going to say is that I’ve never seen a Basking shark hold it’s head vertically out of the water (think of it’s body position in doing so). I thought ’big fish’ like the basking shark had to keep moving forward to allow water to flow through their gills in order to maintain their oxygen intake? I don’t seem to recall Basking sharks being solitary either, they move in and ‘hoover’ up the food in numbers, whether that‘s two, three or forty three.

    Here’s hoping; that if it’s away from it’s home range and lost, it might skulk around in coastal waters for a while, so their could be a chance of someone capturing it (on film) once more!

  10. Paul78 responds:

    This is particularly interesting for me, as for a change the sighting is where I live! Seacombe Ferry is part of the Wirral Peninsula. 😮

    Likely though as the Sea Watch gentlemen said it is probably one of the usual visitors to the area, if you all remember the Albert Dock in Liverpool on the other side of the river has what looks to be a Basking Shark in the dock on Google Earth. However if ‘Nessie type’ sea serpents have been seen in bays and coastal river moths all over the country; then why not ours?

    I know at Cryptomundo you like to post old stories, there have been a number of reports in the Victorian period of mystery creatures in both rivers that run either side of Wirral. On the Dee estuary side there have been tales of encounters on land with giant crabs.

  11. wuffing responds:

    Come on, people – don’t let this be another triumph of hope over experience! What, in the photographs, shows these pictures were taken anywhere in particular? What shows they are the same object? The two humps could be anything anywhere, and the head pointing upwards looks like a sperm or pilot whale.

    Let’s invite the photographer to supply a link to the full frame pictures with embedded data before wasting any more time on this.

  12. mandors responds:

    Check this out. Just for the point that there are known creatures that look strange in the water

    Elephant seal in the water. Not Mersey creature, not in the same range, but awfully odd.

  13. John Kirk responds:

    As an adopted Liverpudlian, I know there’s an abundance of sea life in the Mersey pretty much all of the time. There are seals spotted on a regular basis all the way from Wallasey and on -rare occasion – all the way down to that place 30 miles away that must not be named who just were taught a footballing lesson by Barcelona. 🙂

    I honestly don’t see how a leopard seal could be that far from its native habitat and the idea that it is a harbour porpoise is just not on judging by the dentition and jaw on this thing. I magnified the image and it looks like this thing has some sort of indentation where a right nostril could be at the front of the upper snout. The bottom teeth at the front of the lower jaw look pretty sizable as well.

    I don’t know what this is and wonder if this is an undiscovered species of pinniped. As for it being a Cadborosaurus, that is a real longshot as it’s in the wrong ocean. A distant relative perhaps, but a Caddy? Probably not.

    YNWA to all Reds in Liverpool.

  14. springheeledjack responds:

    The mouth indeed looks wide, but water shots are as hard to decipher as sky shots. You don’t have anything for scale, so it could be big or little depending on distance, angle of the shot, and so on. Again intriguing, but water also distorts and makes it easy to see monsters.

    That’s my number one reason for rolling my eyes at those who have no time for water cryptids. We only get a shot at seeing one, when it’s on the surface (unless you count a handful of odd accounts, like one off of Florida…back in the 40’s or 60’s–can’t remember, when four divers supposedly ran afoul of a sea cryptid), you only get momentary glances usually, and unless you know what you’re looking at (or at least familiar with the usual culprits), it’s hard to make an honest educated guess in a matter of seconds. And as photos usually prove, getting something clear and defining is a realllllll challenge.

    Plus you have to take into account the added mayhem of the practical jokers…because it’s pretty easy to play with perception and distance to make things appear bigger and more monstrous than they are.

    So, my conclusion…I’d guess some sort of pinniped, but without any real scope of size and distance, it’s a guess…

  15. Kopite responds:

    John Kirk,

    YNWA indeed mate.

    Interesting pics. Very hard to say what they show but fascinating debate nonetheless.

  16. Paul78 responds:

    I know some people are suggesting some sort of hoax, but why would a bloke here benefit from just sending pictures and his tale to the main city paper whose readership does not go beyond the region, also and know this is strange and shouldn’t really be said but we’re not exactly a hoaxing type of people in the area; more important things and all that. So I believe the gentlemen saw something he didn’t recognise and took pictures of it. What it is though is the question?

  17. Mibs responds:

    How about a False Killer Whale? They are known around the British Isles and other regions of the Atlantic.

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