Name the Mystery Fish Revisited

Posted by: Loren Coleman on June 29th, 2006

The Mystery Fish postcard, first noted here on November 29, 2005, has never been identified, as to exact location or species. Several thousand new readers have found their way to Cryptomundo since November, so here’s a quick revisit to that photographic mystery.

Mystery Fish Enhanced

(Click on image to see full size version, enhanced by shockbeton)

Due to research on the type of postcard it is, there was a determination thanks to Cryptomundo readers, that this item would have been produced between 1904-18.

The location seems to be in the Pacific, but perhaps it was taken in the Philippines, or maybe even Florida? Someone even said this might be WWI France, because of the uniforms, but what of those palm trees. Can you identify the kind of trees? I don’t know where this was taken. Do you?

Due to popular demand, here is a roundup of all four direct links to the "Mystery Fish Photo" entries in the blog, which were posted in 2005:

"Name the Mystery Fish"

"Name the Mystery Fish Continued"

"Mystery Fish Comparison"

"Mystery Fish Head Closeup"

Almost two hundred comments, most of them extremely thoughtful and detailed, can be found at the above noted entries, and yours are welcome anew, here, below. To date over 1,000,000 views of the Cryptomundo “Mystery Fish” photo have occurred.

Mystery Fish Enhancement

(Click image for full-size version, provided by Todd DiLaMuca)

Loren Coleman About Loren Coleman
Loren Coleman is one of the world’s leading cryptozoologists, some say “the” leading living cryptozoologist. Certainly, he is acknowledged as the current living American researcher and writer who has most popularized cryptozoology in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Starting his fieldwork and investigations in 1960, after traveling and trekking extensively in pursuit of cryptozoological mysteries, Coleman began writing to share his experiences in 1969. An honorary member of Ivan T. Sanderson’s Society for the Investigation of the Unexplained in the 1970s, Coleman has been bestowed with similar honorary memberships of the North Idaho College Cryptozoology Club in 1983, and in subsequent years, that of the British Columbia Scientific Cryptozoology Club, CryptoSafari International, and other international organizations. He was also a Life Member and Benefactor of the International Society of Cryptozoology (now-defunct). Loren Coleman’s daily blog, as a member of the Cryptomundo Team, served as an ongoing avenue of communication for the ever-growing body of cryptozoo news from 2005 through 2013. He returned as an infrequent contributor beginning Halloween week of 2015. Coleman is the founder in 2003, and current director of the International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland, Maine.

58 Responses to “Name the Mystery Fish Revisited”

  1. chrysischylde responds:

    Has anyone else noticed the discoloration on the wood right in front of the “fish”‘s snout? If you enlarge it, it looks like the dark mouth line extends past the snub like snout, and there is a light angular area, that looks like someone had erased the sharper snout of a shark. Opinions??

  2. One Eyed Cat responds:

    Checking the entire photo I believe you are seeing relected light on the snout from the sand. Still it does make the snout not quite so blockish.

    Has anybody else noticed the wrinkle just above the horizonal line just before the curved line starts. That still looks to me like what one would see at the rear termination of the mouth.

  3. shovethenos responds:

    I don’t think much narrowing can be done in the way of location. The trees in the picture appear to be palms, so you can’t really say anything more significant than the climate is likely tropical or semi-tropical. You really can’t rule out any of the tropical or semi-tropical areas of the world.

  4. shovethenos responds:

    Maybe some progress could be made looking into the origin again. Where did Phyliss obtain the postcard from again?

  5. Najhira responds:

    The shirts they are wearing couldn’t be before WWI. The tiger shark is similar but where are the gills? Anyone notice the pile of what looks like fins in the background. The coloration could be damage from a blade during a skinning process.

    I really can’t think of an explanation for the thing that looks like an eye.

    My guess is some kind of shark with fins and jaw harvested, probably Hawaii I hope we can find a definite answer.

  6. Mnynames responds:

    I believe this is the item that first drew me to Cryptomundo, so it’s kinda fun to see it again. A little less fun is seeing all the same old suggestions tossed about again, but it’s still a good way to have a discussion and reach some sort of consensus. Here are some of my thoughts (Forgive me if someone else has already mentioned them, I haven’t read all the 200+ comments)-

    The hat could just as easily be a state trooper or park ranger hat, so I’m not sure we should be so quick to label it military.

    I’ve been looking at the “mouth” as an extended cut mark, presumeably starting at the actual mouth, but I think it’s also possible that the curved area could be an operculum (gill flap) rather than a cut- whoever cut it simply connected the mouth opening to the gill opening.

    There are some fins beneath the animal, and I believe on the tail as well (Rather than being cut off).

    Except for the eye and the rather blunt nose, none of the visible features suggests a shark at all, especially not the tail or the striation along the exposed fins. If indeed there is an operculum, than this is definitely not a shark.

    Has anyone been able to identify the white objects in the shed (Frankly, they kinda look like toilets to me)? If these could be identified, then that would go a long way to help determine the when and the where…

  7. CryptoInformant responds:

    I’ve looked closer, and still see a Mosasaur with fins folded out of view to look like an eel.

  8. acilletam responds:

    It looks a lot like a Mekong Giant Catfish. Check out the pics here

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