Sasquatch Coffee

Name the Mystery Fish

Posted by: Loren Coleman on November 29th, 2005

Can you identify this mystery fish found on an old postcard?

Mystery Fish

(Click on image to see full size version)

Is there a Cryptomundo reader out there that can help?

The men in the picture look like military servicemen. The surroundings look like this photograph was taken on a beach or island. The fish appears to be about six feet long (notice the yard or meter stick lying next to it). But where are the fins on this cryptid (or even a tail)? What is it?

Send in a comment if you know what this cryptid fish might be.

Added note: There is nothing on the back of this postcard, except it should be noted that the “Place Stamp Here” box is formed by the letters AZO, which according to the comments below date this card. All the AZO triangles are pointing upward, thus indicating a date for this postcard of 1904-18. It was contributed by a reader (Ms. Phyllis Mancz of Ohio) of Loren’s Cryptozoo News blog at Cryptomundo.

See also “Name the Mystery Fish Continued”.

Mystery Fish Enhanced

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

About Loren Coleman
Loren Coleman is one of the world’s leading cryptozoologists, some say “the” leading. 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.


122 Responses to “Name the Mystery Fish”

  1. robertcr5 responds:

    it’s a giant squid.

  2. mypep responds:

    it looks fake to me. the fish’s body has been gutted and it’s fin chopped off like it was going to be eaten. the head seems like it was made out of some other material than bone or flesh.

    the men don’t look like men from that time period. it’s just the way they look, not the dress.

  3. garnould responds:

    I think that the french name of this monster is “silure”. You can make your own opinion by comparing with this:
    link

  4. DonovanH responds:

    The fish appears to have been gutted and, more importantly, SKINNED. (The stripelike stuff on the side of the body looks just like a catfish does after you skin them.) Not many fish have the kind of skin that you peel off. I’d guess it is a big catfish of some sort. I have never seen a catfish head skinned and the head does look a little odd, but the shape seems about right.

  5. limeshy responds:

    Looks like a hacked up Crocodile to me!

    The head looks very croc like and the body could be some other fish or the body of a croc with legs removed.

  6. deadskin responds:

    It looks like the rotten carcas of a shark. The nose/ head area closely resembles that of a shark. The fins and most of the body look as if they have rotted and fallen off.

  7. weatherman responds:

    Looks fake to me too, but I’m no icthyologist (though I have caught a few in my day).

    The only thing I can add is that by the proportions in the picture, the “yardstick” looks far too long to be a yard. If we assume that the picture is real, and that the men in the picture placed the stick there for the purpose of demonstrating size (and that they used a unit of measurement that would mean something to a viewer) then I’d wager that the stick is a fathom, not a yard. That stick may be a bit short for a fathom (comparing it to the height of the men) but it’s hard to say exactly how long the stick is because of the washed-out end of the picture.

  8. wbonner responds:

    It looks like a narwhal to me. I don’t see a tusk, but the shape looks about right, and I think the size is about right, for a small one.

  9. joerger responds:

    Looks like a dead nurse shark that rolled on the beach/surf for a while. The fins have been abraded off, as has much of the skin.

  10. thomascrampton responds:

    No mystery. Looks like a Mekong catfish, perhaps photo taken during the Vietnam war in the Delta.

  11. bazuca responds:

    It could be a Pirarucu. A big Amazonic fish. Check this.

  12. crh0831 responds:

    Even though Wikipedia disagrees it looks like a modern decendant of the Dunkleosteus.

    I dunno – could it be possible?

  13. Swamp Thing responds:

    It’s a gator.

  14. mwproductions responds:

    My vote is a shark that has been skinned. Look at the nose and eye.

    I suppose it could be a catfish, but the nose and eye look wrong to me. Then again, I have much more experience with sharks than I do with catfish.

    One of the tricky things with this photo is the long drip of what I assume is blood coming from the creature’s mouth. It makes the mouth look a lot bigger than it actually is.

    There’s a large splotch on the creatures’s side that appears to also be blood (just under the curve in the faux jaw line). Could this be where a fin used to be and was cut off?

    Also, I see palm trees in the photo, so there’s a good chance they’re near salt water, which further supports my shark hypothesis.

  15. technudge responds:

    Ew! Ew! Ew! I know! I know!
    It’s a Snakehead. Max recorded length so far is 1.8 meters.

  16. freeplumber responds:

    I concur with the skinned fish theory – however looking at the head I would say it is a skinned, de-finned shark of some sort. I’ve studied a few old cryptozoology pics and this one just looks like another sea-fishing trip snapashot to me.

  17. 5ive responds:

    It looks like a ceolecanth. A fish thought to be extimct until they caught one off madagascar in the 50’s. though if they took notice of this card, it would have been sooner…

  18. warrambungle responds:

    Looks like a sturgeon to me. We’re not seeing the fish from side-on, it’s sort of rolled over a bit and we’re seeing a lot of the bottom of it. I suspect the smiley line that looks like a mouth is actually part of the tackle used to catch it. Sturgeon are very large and strange looking fish that are “milked” of their eggs to produce caviar in Iran and Russia.

  19. stunder responds:

    not sure what the fish is i am still checking it out.. .from the looks of it the 3 men are Marines, you can tell from the campaign cover (hat) the one in the middle is wearing. it has the Marine Corps emblem on it. I am still up in the air on what the fish is… I almost believe its a gator or a shark just because of what looks to be the mouth on the thing its long and runs to the back of the head kind of like a gator.

  20. rmalejandre responds:

    It’s a skinned Wels Catfish.

  21. carpworld responds:

    Looks like a pygmy sperm whale (kogia breviceps) with it’s fin cut off to me.

  22. Kitsune responds:

    The line on the “head” does not appear to be a mouth or jaw line to me. My first impression was that it appears to be a very large cuttlefish, so perhaps a squid or similar invertibrate.

    If it is indeed a fish, I would wager it to be a catfish.

    As far as a ceolecanth, I don’t see any evidence of that at all.

  23. shockbeton responds:

    I’ve posted an enhanced version of the photo with levels adjusted to make out what’s going on at the right side.

    It looks like they are near a large river (in the background). If this is true, it’s not likely a shark is it?

    Also, the tail appears to be intact.

    See the enhanced image [now above, within the context of the blog].

  24. stunder responds:

    yeah i want to say its a shark just by zooming in on its head. the dark eye the nostrials in the front and its head comes to a point not blunt like a cat fish. the thing that gets me is the body looks like scales not of a shark maybe its just the way the light hit that old camera or something but my vote is for shark now. the old guys are marines that for sure.

  25. freeplumber responds:

    I dont know if its a funny angle or a “cut’n’shut”, ie a different head stuck to another body, but that is a shark’s head; there’s no way of telling if that’s a river or not and anyway the Amazon is full of sharks which swim up to 1000 miles inland through the Amazonian waterways.
    It could of course still be some hitherto undiscovered variety of shark….

  26. Kitsune responds:

    In shockbeton’s enhancement, you can make out both the tail and a fin underneath the pole that formerly looked like a yardstick. The background now appears grassy.. I’m thinking fresh water or brackish. The tail looks right for a catfish compared to some google images of Mekong and Wels, but the nose is all wrong for that, unless we are seeing an odd angle.

  27. stanleypane responds:

    FYI: Many sharks have been found in freshwater rivers and estuaries. catsharks, bull sharks, sawfish sharks and even bull sharks. Regardless if it is a river or not, I don’t think the jaw/mouth/whatever is shaped anything like most sharks I’ve seen.

    The mouth looks to go very far back, although as one comment mentioned, it could be blood? I think it looks more like a large gill structure similar to that of most catfish. Since the fish has been skinned, it just looks like the gill area connects to the mouth?

    Dunno. I’m inclined to go with shark, catfish or sturgeon. Too little detail to be certain.

    I’m confused about the ‘squid’ theory. No tentacles.

  28. Kitsune responds:

    Using a bit more of the context clues, perhaps we are looking what is left of a shark after they filleted it a bit. The pole may have served as a way to carry it (I’m sure all three of them were required). In that light, it looks like a nurse shark that was stripped from the gills back. That would leave the anal fin near the pole, and the tail. It would also explain the absence of gills or side fins. Perhaps we’re looking at their garbage area. Okay, that’s it, I’ve commented enough, sorry to put in 10 cents instead of the usual 2 :)

  29. WillyVolk responds:

    I thought it was a catfish, until I clicked the link #3 provided. Silure is a good guess.

    Shark — no.
    Coelecanth — I don’t think so.
    Squid — um, no.

  30. stanleypane responds:

    Another FYI: A silure appears to be the same thing as a Wels Catfish. Some quick googleing (“wels silure”) reveals several sources that confirm this. Apparently, it is the worls largest carnivorous fish and can only be found in France, where it is commonly called a silure.

    Just thought it was interesting.

  31. Loren Coleman responds:

    I want to thank everyone for all your comments, thoughts, so far, and keep them coming. This is definitely not a solved mystery yet.

    CASE NOT CLOSED!

    Can anyone fix the time period based on the clothing? Yellowing of the card? Other factors?

  32. beth responds:

    To me it looks nothing like a shark, a coelacanth, a cephalopod, or a crocodilian.

    To me the face looks like a salamander or catfish. I agree with everybody who says it looks like a silure.

    Here is a possibility (but less likely in my opinion): one of the Andrias salamanders. The Chinese Giant Salamander (Andrias davidanius) gets to about 1.8 meters, and the face of the “mystery fish” looks pretty salamandrish to me.

    Body and face are about the right shape for a skinned, de-legged salamander. However, the fish in the picture looks to be considerably longer than the men are tall, so my bet is with the silure.

    Doesn’t the back of the postcard contain any clues as to the time or place?

  33. MrPeepers responds:

    The photo was taken in the Philippines in 1979 on the set of ‘Apocalypse Now’ (which explains the Marine-like clothing of the men). That’s Robert Duvall (Lt.-Col. Kilgore) in the center. And the bloated whale of a creature at their feet is, of course, Marlon Brando. Mystery solved!

  34. stunder responds:

    Just from the hat the Marines are wearing they could be in Paris Island 1956 is when they Drill Instructors started wearing that type of hat. But if you ask me they don’t appear to be in a training environment or boot camp. The Marines wore those hats (covers as the call them) during WW I which could put them over in France or Europe making it a “silure” During WW II not many Marines had the cover because of regulations on felt. I am with beth it would be nice to get a shot of the back of the card or photo.

  35. tolgo responds:

    Maybe an oarfish if it’s from the Philippines?

  36. mwproductions responds:

    Are there palm trees in France? I’ve never been to France, but I grew up in Hawaii and those are palm trees in the photo.

  37. Skeptical... responds:

    Judging from the clothes, hair and buildings, my guess is that this pic is pre-WWII, probably 1935-1941. Agreed that these men are US Marines. I’m thinking they’re in the Pacific, probably the Philippines but possibly some little island base like Wake or Guam.

    I doubt that’s a shark with them. To my eye, the head and body shape just don’t look right. Judging from the locale, this looks like it should be a salt-water fish so that probably rules out most of the big cats that have been mentioned.

    Not sure what that leaves but I’m betting the annotations on the back of the postcard (if any) would do a lot of explaining.

    S

  38. doeann200 responds:

    The clothing is similar to that which was worn in pictures of my dad when he was in the military and especially the neck style of the tshirts. He was stationed in japan post WWII. He would tell stories of freak fish they would catch that were deformed because of the bombs dropped on Japan. Never know. It could be a freak fish.

  39. Toirtis responds:

    The context evidence appears to put it on an ocean beach somewhere in the tropics/subtropics….this would pretty much eliminate it being a Wels (Siluris glanis) catfish. The head is all wrong for an oarfish…1.8 meters is really stretching it for any species of Channidae (1.1 meters being more the upmost limit on those)…and the head is not really the shape of any of the giant salamanders (as well as the entire creature being far too large).
    I also doubt that the stick next to the creature is a yard/meter stick….even allowing for perspective, unless those men were all under 5′ tall, that would be one awfully long yardstick (also note the boatds on the shack behind, which appear to be 1x8s…with 9 of them behind 5/6s of the cryptid’s length, suggesting no less than 7′ in length).
    The men in the photo appear to be genuine and of appropriate dress to suggest 1935-1955, even if the cryptid is an added element or was altered prior to photo.

    I am going to put my initial guess at an altered shark carcass or an unknown (at least to me at this time), likely marine, species.

    G. A. Christian Bilou, zoologist.

  40. Loren Coleman responds:

    Please see my added note about the contents on the back of the postcard.

    Many thanks to shockbeton for the enhanced photograph imagery, also added up top.

  41. TheGoodReverend responds:

    There’s an awful lot of land on the other side of that water, and a bunch of grass or reeds just beyond the shack. This could be a lake or marsh rather than the sea. There’s a possibility this is freshwater.

  42. stanleypane responds:

    Noticed an update with information from the back of the card. THe update mentions the “Place Stamp Here” box is formed of the letters AZO. I found this little reference VERY quickly:

    AZO (Squares in each corner) 1925 – 1940s
    AZO (4 triangles pointing upward) 1904 – 1918
    AZO (2 triangles up, 2 triangles down) 1918 – 1930
    AZO (diamonds in corners) 1907 – 1909
    AZO (nothing in corners) 1922 – 1926

    You can find more at this site:

    http://www.the2buds.com/rp.htm

  43. TheGoodReverend responds:

    What we need to do is track down that fourth man on the far right.

  44. mwproductions responds:

    I found a site that will help us date it.

    The site is:
    http://www.the2buds.com/rp.htm

  45. Toirtis responds:

    Here is a link that should solve the AZO stampbox question and help date the card:

    http://www.the2buds.com/rp.htm

  46. soigomoto responds:

    First guess: Protopterus annectens or other spp of the same genus. AKA African lungfish.
    Here is a picture I tracked down from a BBC blog but I couldn’t find the original source.

    A little more info on the critter -says length to 200cm.

    Note the slender (whip-like) fins- no wonder they don’t show in the photo. These guys have a catfish-like skin resembling the mystery photo.

    My second guess would be a skinned and de-finned Neoceratodus forsteri or other spp of the same genus. AKA Australian lungfish.

    These guys have bigger (paddle-like) fins and big scales.

    Both of these can attain sizes in this range and put the eyes in the right location relative to the head.

  47. joerger responds:

    I strongly suspect that the long ‘mouth’ is actually a gash produced when the critter snagged itself on a line or net. Examined closely, the mouth itself appears to be small and all at the leading edge of the head.

    Decayed, bottom-feeding shark.

  48. Toirtis responds:

    A confirmed species on the palm trees could better nail down the location and the likelihood of ocean, saltmarsh, river, delta, or lake beach….any botanists out there?

  49. Toirtis responds:

    The only lungfish that gets anywhere near that size is Protopterus æthiopicus….I personally keep all the Protopterus ssp., and am quite familiar with their maximum recorded sizes (as well as N. forsteri). The problem is that those palms suggest SE Asia/South Pacific, not Africa.

  50. Swamp Thing responds:

    The “AZO” on the back of the postcard merely denotes the type of paper and dye-process.

    But it does help us date the postcard at approximately 1910-1920.

    Reference

  51. stanleypane responds:

    What is the wooden structure the men are standing next to? I think it would be useful to know. I see some white cylindrical thinga-ma-jiggers sitting inside of that structure, but I can’t quite make out what any of it is.

  52. Toirtis responds:

    I am also intrigued by what appears to be a caudal peduncle at the right end of the creature….which would certainly define it as a fish, and rule out certain species of fishes.

  53. cassfox responds:

    The presence of the AZO stamp block makes this a “real photo postcard“. AZO specifically refers to the to the photographic process. Some other common processes are EKC, KODAK, VELOX, and KRUXO.

    There were different types of AZO stamp blocks that can give a rough estimate of age.

    AZO triangles pointing up 1904-18
    AZO triangles 2 up/ 2 down 1918 on
    AZO squares 1927 on

    More info here.

  54. mwproductions responds:

    Re: Palm Species – There are around 2,600 species of palm tree, so it’s hard enough to get it right without being able to see the trunk or get a good look at the fronds.

    At any rate, most palms dwell in tropical and subtropical climates.

  55. Sasquatchery responds:

    I think this photo is a hoax. The photo shows signs of having been doctored, and the “mouth” and “eye” have been drawn in. The “mouth” doesn’t go all the way to the edge of the “head” area and the patterning on the object is showing through the line drawn to suggest a “mouth/gill”. I think what you’ve got is a large leaf from a tropical palm plant probably obtained very close to the locale the photo was taken. I’ll try to come up with a plant species for a possible suspect.

  56. Skeptical... responds:

    Alright, I’m going to change my mind. These guys may not be active military after all. Assuming this is peacetime, they’re a little too disheveled for Marines. No visible dog tag chains around their necks either. Plus the garbage cans are in disarray – all indicators that these guys are not active military. Is it possible these guys are CCC (Civilian Conservation Corp)? This could be the Everglades.

    S

  57. Loren Coleman responds:

    See new info in the “Added Note” at the end of the blog that specifically dates this card to 1904-1918.

  58. mikek responds:

    It looks like the building is for storing trash cans. There weren’t any plastic trash bags in that era (1904-18), so trash was stored in a screened area to keep the flies to a minimum. My guess is this creature washed up in an area that people needed to use often, (beach? pier?) and was attracting way too many flies, so these guys were charged with hauling it away. Before they chopped it up and put it into the cans someone with a camera stopped them took a picture to send home.
    As to what it is? Could it be an early accidental discovery of a megamouth shark?

  59. whomever responds:

    I vote whale or porpoise with the fins cut off. It’s pictured from the top of the animal with the stripe being dirt from moving it or blood smeared from the blowhole. I think the “stick” is actually one side of a stretcher used to move it.

  60. dumbbob responds:

    I would second the vote for lungfish. Although it does appear to be de-scaled and abused, it does look alot like the images on this site.

    “they grow to 1.5m in the wild”

  61. mwproductions responds:

    From what I can tell, that hat is called a D.I. Hat and it a WWI campaign hat. It’s very likely that this photo was taken during or around the time of WWI.

    If, as Swamp Thing said, the AZO, “denotes the type of paper and dye-process,” then perhaps this postcard was printed after WWI (which ended in 1918) by a printer using older equipment.

    I tend to agree with Skeptical…’s comment that these guys look pretty disheveled for Marines, but don’t forget that (A) this was in a very different time from now, so perhaps their C.O. wasn’t as strict, and (B) they seem to be in a fairly remote location, so there’s a chance that they’re slacking off for lack of an enemy presence.

  62. prc8895 responds:

    Ello, Just to add my own thoughts on the image.

    If you zoom in on the pole about a foot and a half from the left end I see something wrapped around the pole and going under the creature which makes me think the pole wasn’t used for measurement but as a makeshift stretcher(sp) to carry it. Seems like something army people would do.

    Also you zoom in to were the slit that resembles a mouth starts to curve upward and look up you’ll see to what looks like wet streak(blood?) running down into the gash. I think this could be a gun shot wound. Notice on the wet streak the color striping on the creature stands out again. Which makes me think this thing was dragged through the beach all wet and is covered in sand which could cause people to assume the creature is lighter in color than it truly is.

    also the striping of it to me resembles the pattern a tiger shark has.

  63. largeseamonster responds:

    It looks like a coelocanth to me. The bony head is characteristic of primitive lungfish. the size fits as well.

  64. Todd DiLaMuca responds:

    Surprised no one has mentioned tarpon.

    If the photo shows the bottom and part of the left side of a slightly decomposed tarpon, much of this mystery animal seems resolved. The gill slit and eye are in the right location and orientation, the anal fin, the shape of the tail — and also the location (presumably Florida Keys or Gulf Coast).

    The odd shape of the underside of the lower jaw accounts for what looks to some of us like a salamander or shark’s head. And I may be imagining but it looks the mouth itself just in front of the eye.

  65. Toirtis responds:

    The habitat is all wrong for a Neoceratodus lungfish….and I am quite certain that photo was taken nowhere near the Australian interior.

    Again, as far as size goes, compare the size of the creature’s head with the leg of the middle man (who appears to have his foot nearly touching it)….unless than man is very short, the head alone of the creature must be a good 24″/0.6m….I would estimate the creature’s entire length to be in the 7′-8′(2.1m-2.4m) range, assuming there is not additinal tail structure outside the right edge of camera range.

    prc8895 brings up an excellent point about the potential gunshot wound…I can see easily how it could be, and it would seem to fit with typical activity of military at leisure in that period.

  66. thiffany responds:

    …the Dorsalectus elusivii?

  67. Skeptical... responds:

    Another comment about the men – the guy on the far left is wearing a leather belt, not a military issue one. These guys may have been vets but I still don’t think they were active military at the time the photo was taken. As to those proposing a WWI time frame, the clothes are definitely too modern for the teens. I’m still betting late 30s to early 40s.

    Just as a note, the Civilian Conservation Corp was in the Everglades circa 1935. Here’s a link to a photo of a CCC worker wearing a military style uniform not unlike what we’re seeing:

  68. westerner responds:

    I can’t tell you what the animal is, looks kinda like a shark to me, BUT, judging by the date of the postcard, the mens dress and the palm trees I’d say it’s Panama during the “teens”. The campaign hat was worn as far back as the Spanish-American war. The two guys on the right are wearing the correct uniform pants and web belts for that era. The fella on the left is wearing civilian pants, a leather belt and the old millitary “high top” shoes (civilian personel?). The “cylindical objects in the shed are trash cans and I’d assume that they’re military since they are so bright and shiny (keep em clean soldier!). The Panama Canal was opened in August of 1914 and guarded by the U.S. military during and after construction until we gave it back to Panama a few years ago. I’d look for an animal native to that area, remembering that the canal also connected to both oceans. Also, after enlarging the picture, it looks like the mouth was raggedly cut towards the back of the head with a knife. The “stick” on the ground is round and is probably a tent pole.

  69. wintermute responds:

    it’s in florida,my guess is west coast(as opposed to keys or everglades).the enclosure is indeed full of metal trash cans,they’re enclosed to cut down on…pestilence.if you lived in florida at the turn of the century,you’d keep your trash screened-in too.the fish is a tiger shark(note the markings and the distinctive blunted snout).the roundish injury near the head is where the pectoral fin was chewed/ripped off,the wound is that shape because a shark’s fin sort of “hooks” on(e.g.,the fin appears to be wider than that at its base,but is actually only connected by a comparatively small amount of tissue at the front of the fin).and the mouth is gashed or ripped,as previously stated,and looks like the tear went up into one of the gills.hence the friendly smile.nifty postcard,even if it isn’t a cryptocritter.

  70. Toirtis responds:

    I am now inclined to agree with wintermute….having looked at a number of photos of beached young tigersharks, the consicuously large head, head-shape, narrow, tapering body, and certainly the pattern, all seem to fit well…it would appear that this shark’s fins have been mostly cut off/fallen off.

  71. Todd DiLaMuca responds:

    I’ve superimposed a photo of a modern tarpon above the mystery fish, and I’m convinced we’re looking at a rotted tarpon, somewhere along the Gulf, possibly Florida.

    I’m unable to post the photo. I can email a jpeg.

  72. todfoulk responds:

    OOH Rah Semper Fishing!

    The man in the middle with the obvious campaigning hat on with the usmc’s eagle globe and anchor leads me to believe this is from the P.I. and the early 20th battles fought there. I know giant silurids (catfish) inhabit the Mekong river of S.E. Asia, so that will have to be my guess that one is native to the Philipines. If not for the foliage I would have said a wels from the danube river of Europe. As with most cryptids, I guess this will remain a mystery for now! Thanx Loren for the great site and another mystery! -Tod Foulk

  73. WhiteLight responds:

    Looking at the head along, it looks like some type of snake that has been genetically altered with a eel.

  74. bullsbay responds:

    It’s very easy to imagine that you are looking at a shark from above and that the “mouth” that appears to be stretched so far is actually a gash on top of the sharks head. The fins are missing but that doesn’t change the “shark seen from above” shape for me. It does look skinned.

  75. sebastian responds:

    I think that it was a juvenile Pacific Sleeper Shark (Somniosus pacificus) caught off somewhere near southern Japan.

  76. nitewerx responds:

    looks a lot like a newly discovered extinct species. recently appeared on national geographic.com nicknamed “Godzilla” (Dakosaurus andiniensis), it seems to be a cross between a fish and a crocodile. check out the artist rendering on the page. very close.

  77. Todd DiLaMuca responds:

    If you look closely at the floridsurffishing photo, the mystery fish appears to be a much larger tarpon photographed from an oreintation similar enough to be instructive.

    What looks SO much like a mouth in the older photo is a streak of blood running from the gill across the lower jaw. The mouth itself, which appears to have deteriorated, is not visible, but open slightly and pointed roughly at the left knee of the guy in the hat. My superimosed photo retouches out this blood streak, and makes it very plain that the placement, shape, and orientation of the gill slit and the bony plate between the gill and the eye are consistent with a tarpon.

    Once it’s clear A) that the mystery fish is in a fairly advanced state of decomposition, especially about the head, and to an extent which can account for the discoloration of the flank, and B) that the blood streak is not a mouth, nor is it connected to a mouth, THEN you can see the major identifiers:

    — the size, shape, and placement in relation to each other of the eye, the gill, the bloody wound where the pectoral fin used to be, the anal fin (slightly extended under the pole — which would sensibly be a gaff hook for hauling the carcass), and the base of the tail (which is very UNlike a tiger shark’s).

    Verdict: tarpon.

  78. SleepingInRlyeh responds:

    I’m guessing an eel. Maybe a Giant Moray. Could be a kind of Snakehead or Tarpon as well.

    I don’t think it’s skinned. It looks striated to me.

  79. eyeofnewt responds:

    I have no idea what the animal is, but if those are U.S. servicemen in short sleeves on a sunny beach during 1904-18, they were most likely in Mexico, the Philippines, or China. (It’s clearly not a known crocodilian, skinned or otherwise, since the head is all wrong.)

  80. pudquick responds:

    I’m just wondering: What makes people think this is a fish? Seriously! Is it because the original submitter of the photo thought the subjects were on an island?

    Every time I look at this photo I *cannot* see a fish there. I keep seeing a giant snake’s head.

    Anyone familiar with trick photography and it’s history? If this is a postcard, who’s to say it’s not something like: ‘Greetings from the Mexico! Seen here: Tom, Dick and Harry, proudly displaying their trophy “Pygmy Rattler”.’ (insert canned laughter).

    Think about it.

  81. ook responds:

    Everyone is looking at this wrong.

    The actual mouth is really short, only about 6 inches long. It exists only at the initial sharp tapering of the head, in the shadowed part. The long line that looks like a huge mouth is a smear or gash. The thing that looks like a big eye is not the creature’s actual eye. The actual eye is that dark spot just above the back corner of the real mouth.

    It is almost certainly a shark of some sort.

    The black splatter at the bottom front is where the pectoral fin was removed. The fins were probably cut off for shark fin soup. Just above the pectoral splatter you can see what is probably the gill slits, just in front of the “grin” on the fake-mouth.

  82. fouber66 responds:

    Consider the lumber of the structures. I am no expert but I think planks of that width and knot pattern would have to come from North America. Tropical lumber doesn’t have knots like that and even at the turn of the century, I don’t think trees of that size were very common outside of North America. Indeed, one of the most important products of the new world was timber large enough to be used for ship masts. So unless this lumber was shipped across the ocean I’m guessing we’re in North America – perhaps Florida. Otherwise, we would expect to see tin structures or teak structures, or even bamboo.

  83. Flyboy30126 responds:

    Nah, Looks more like a HIPPO….its a Hiponafish. Step back and look at the long jaw and the small eyes…it a Hipona…….Hih-pon-a-fish.

  84. charles responds:

    I think there is too little to go on. If it is an animal as opposed to a carving then it is clearly decayed/hacked about. The darkened regions which appear to correspond to nostril, eye and mouth are seemingly irreconciliable with a fish (fish typically have round eyes) and small often flapped “nostrils”. The chunky head doesn’t seem very fishlike either.

    but it could be anything really
    Charles

  85. NYC responds:

    I’ve been reading this since yesterday. I looked at the enhanced image. Could it be nothing more than a papier mache mock up for a party or something?

  86. aklein responds:

    The dark splatter just to the right of the blood smear “smile” on the head seems to have 3D substance and a shadow, maybe like a small plant on the ground, although there don’t seem to be too many other small plants on that beach.

    I’m still not above calling this some sort of primitive (in a digital world sense) hoax. There appear to be blurred areas on the creature that might have been an attempt at hiding certain features, such as fins. Alternatively, this thing could simply be quite decayed. I saw a beached whale once that looked very little like an actual whale.

  87. technudge responds:

    Snakehead… Snakehead… Snakehead…

  88. victoras responds:

    -imho-

    the ‘snake-or-shark’ head
    is an enlarged and photo-tricked image
    attached to the torso of a Manatee.

    the completed ‘fishy-fish’ is closer to 8 1/2 feet in length.
    by quickly looking at the clues, we can deduce the screened shelter has 8″X24″ boards at bottom(per 30″ garbage cans)
    – 36″ screening above (which totals to ~5’6″ (eyelevel of marine at corner).
    -the shelters’ doorway is ~6’2″
    (compare to civilian, mud-marshall?,
    who is the tallest of the 3 people shown)

    Also, Marines #1 & #2 appear to be ‘uncomfortably’ close to the doctored image…but they would be within a ‘distance zone’ if the actual torso & head of a decomposing Manatee was the real body they were standing next to.

    photo doctoring is my opinion

  89. dotk11355 responds:

    Maybe its the long extinct ancient crocodile – Dakosaurus Andiniensis – which has a head like a bullet and the body of a crocodile

  90. Rev. Bill responds:

    I asked my son if he could name the mystery fish and he replied,

    “Nemo”.

    He’s only just turned 6.

  91. aklein responds:

    The eye (if that’s what it is) is too far back from the snout to be a snakehead. Looks more shark-like at the head (if viewed from the top, mouth mostly hidden). But the tail and body are un-shark-like. Leaning toward hoax.

  92. Ikerus responds:

    You know what it looks like? It looks like they made it out of sand. Took a picture and set a yard stick to either show how big the “sand fish” was, or take the picture to see if they could fool someone, but I doubt that cause they probably didnt know how the picture would have turned out, so I think they just did it for fun and was showing how big their art work was.
    Ikerus

  93. Captoe responds:

    I don’t understand how there can be a shadow on the shack (near the right edge of the image) that does not fall across the fish-monster.

    Count me among to hoax voters.

  94. Kitsune responds:

    In response to photodoctoring, one thing that stands out is that the shadows are rather long, and the head casts a shadow over the man in the hat’s feet.

    To get shadows that long, the sun would have to be very close to the horizon, such as near and ocean on the western side of something close to sunset or eastern close to dawn.

  95. Batgirl responds:

    Three things to point out, a) The fish is on a board of some type which rules out the made from sand theory, b) the shack is for water storage, and c) the picture was most probably taken in Australia or New Zealand.
    Although it is infact a sea creature of some type, the fish was most probably brought to the location the photo was taken, which is not near water, which goes back to my point about the water storage. We are looking at a picture that could have been taken between 1933-1943, therefore, not everyone had a bathroom in the home and fresh water was pumped, especially in a region with the trees I can just barely make out in the pic that resemble palm trees.

  96. Godrock responds:

    I’ve been staring at this photo for too long. The scene is wetlands near the equator. Notice the water marshes in the background in the upper right. The animal is almost certainly not the entire animal. Likely remains which were found floating in the water or mostly submerged.

    The remains sit on a gurney (notice the pole…looks like an early 20th century gurney). I sincerely believe I could write an entire chapter of a book on this photo alone. I’m looking at the head and front parts (neck) of an anaconda which was very likely 30 to 35 feet long when alive. It is partially decomposed, which means the men found it as is. Perhaps it died of old age and was feasted on by other animals.

    If you look to the right and what might at first appear to be a “tail”; it seems upon further inspection that there’s a retention wall (perhaps going to a dock) that the end of the remains we can’t see are hanging out of view from.

  97. Loren Coleman responds:

    So what are people’s final opinions on location? France? South Pacific? Phillipines? Trinidad? Brazil? Oz? New Zealand? Where?

  98. Toirtis responds:

    Florida, Hawaii, or South Pacific….somewhere amongst the three, although so far, impossible to be more precise.

  99. Maer responds:

    The head looks like a shark or a big honking python (anaconda, say). It looks like the pectoral fin has been removed, and the animal has been gutted, or has had a chance to decompose a touch.
    I think it’s in Panama.

  100. joizee debbil responds:

    This “fish” appears to be a de-finned body of a white sturgeon, with the attached skull of a small cetacean (whale); whale skulls have that characteristic smiley face. Trouble is, I can’t isolate the species of whale, due to the very tiny eyeholes in that skull. A Japanese salamander can grow to 1.5 meters in length, but its skull is quite porous, skull holes (fenestrae) are everywhere.

  101. joizee debbil responds:

    This so-called postcard appears to be a composite of at least three, possibly four images. The three servicemen are standing on a blurry mud-like ground; the “fish” is resting on a sharply focused, lighter soil with weeds. The hut has a hazy, almost airbrushed background (fog?), while the three men are standing in a stark-lit, low sun angle setting. Location for the postcard setting: PhotoShop.

  102. fouber66 responds:

    I still maintain those buildings are in North America. Can anyone from outside of North America comment? Would you expect to find foot wide pine planks like that in Panama for example?

  103. tschai responds:

    O.K. Me again. Guys-the more I look at this the more I see – in an enlargement of the head region look right below the “eye” down and at a slight angle to the right along the dark mouth-and I’m convinced now this is indeed an eye-you can see the forked tongue draped over the lower jaw! No kidding! It’s hard to see unless you blow the picture up-and there is something else hanging out of the corner of the mouth-it looks like a vine? fishing line with some kind of spinners? You can make out the oval shaped leaves or whatever and their shadows against the lighter body of the whatever the heck it is. Right below the forked tongue is a pile /puddle of something…it is whitish in colour. I am now agreeing with the individual that said this is the head of a snake with a portion of the body missing (where the “tail” of the fish should be) and what we see is the skin has collapsed because the supporting bones and flesh were torn away when the snake was cut in half? Blown up?-the dark area below the jaw (where I said the leg /flipper) were before-yeah yeah I know-but that is indeed a massive wound. The head is tilted away from the camera and the lower jaw is askew-just like a snakes does when dealt a nasty blow to the noggin or mortally wounded. When viewed in digital form and enlarged there are areas where the pixelations vary-I’m not any kind of expert here but I think what this is (maybe a photo of a dead snake (superimposed?) on the original picture of the fellows standing in front of this structure. Or maybe it is absolutely genuine. Perhaps a photograhpy expert would care to comment? IF YOU LOOK REAL CLOSE you can make out what might be scales- and I think the dark arc that wants to be a “gill” is actually a fold of loose skin-it does not appear to go below the surface as would a gill. Did anyone else notice the “stain” on the fence / wall behind the men is actually the shadow of a man with his hands in his pockets out of camera? You can just make out the head on the screening or whatever above the wood of the fence. If this is not a hoax it is one heck of a BIG snake.Can our herpetology expert tell if it is a venomous snake? It’s hard to tell if it has heat sensory pits. Yikes!!Will we ever really know what this thing is? Are there MORE of these behemoth whatisits crawling, swimming or slithering around out there RIGHT NOW???!!! OMG!!!AUUGHHHH!!!LOL

  104. fouber66 responds:

    It is a shark that has been filleted! The snout is deceiving, but if you look carefully, you can see the familiar, pointy shark snout hidden in the shadows.
    The shark body has been sliced in half vertically, starting behind the gills, all the way to the tail. The fins, tail, and gut have been removed – typical process of cleaning a fish. That is why the body looks too small and flat compared to the head. It also explains the unusual coloration pattern running the length of the body (vascular tissue surrounding the spine) and the pool of blood at the bottom of the gills (what looks like a bullet wound). Here is a sequence showing a shark being cleaned.
    Notice the bloody area in step 2 corresponds with our postcard. As was noted earlier, the “smile” is caused by blood running from the mouth and front gill. The more I view the postcard from this perspective, the more confident I am that this is the explanation.

  105. shovethenos responds:

    fouber66-

    Good link but there are some discrepancies. The mouth is configured differently. The eye is much smaller. (I realize the link features a small shark with oversized eyes and that bigger sharks have proportionally smaller eyes, but they seem different.) Where are the big side fins or the scars from where they were? And there is a rough patch behind the head where you might say there are gill slits, but I think they would be more pronounced, and you would probably see some of the underlying gill structure, if it was a skinned shark.

  106. mikeCorbeil responds:

    Well, firstly I’ll say that I have not taken the time to read all of the posts, here; but picked up on a few suggestions, namely a silure, a shark, and an oarfish. I also noticed someone wrote that those are palm trees in the picture, while questioning whether or not these grow in France. (I don’t know if France has palm trees, or not, but maybe it does in the southern, Mediterranean region, and perhaps some trees have been imported, as I believe the explanation to be for palm trees in Las Vegas; although am not sure of the latter, if it’s true, or not.)

    Out of the three above species of fish, the oarfish strikes me as the least likely, because the fish (and we need to keep in mind that the one in the picture has been gutted, as well as skinned) in the picture has a visibly tapering body; meanwhile, oarfish apprently have no really visible tapering.

    I suppose that there are different types of oarfish, but the following provide a pictures (URLs obtained via a Web search just now and thus only a very partial, brief search).

    Oarfish: Regalecus glesne Ascanius, 1772“,

    Giant Oarfish Caught of California Coast“,

    Both of those webpages shows pictures of oarfish, considerable portions of the bodies, and they don’t visibly taper.

    Also notice the distinct difference in the shape of the head and snout; it’s very visible, with careful examination anyway.

    In the first picture for this here article at CryptoMundo.com, provides some head or snout detail that I did not pick up from the second and much darker copy of the picture; and going based on the first one, the snout seems to come to a bit of a point, as I’ve noticed some sharks have.

    Based on that, the picture does not strike me as being of a silure, neither; while based on the second rendition of the picture, silure seemed more possible or plausible.

    And based on that difference, I’d suggest that it be confirmed if the snout of the mystery fish really does come to a kind of point, a pointed, tapered shape, or not. If pointed, it’s apparently not a silure, for the pictures I saw of these today (will let others do some easy Web searches, for I don’t have those pages up anymore) show that silures have heads shaped like catfish; although a little more checking for pictures turned up pictures of what really do look like catfish. (Perhaps, not having read much on them, silures are a European version of catfish, too; they’re said to be the largest freswhater carnivorous fish, and catfish are carnivorous.)

    If the mystery fish is freswater, and there are extremely few possibilities for what species the fish could then be, for very few freshwater species grow even half the size of the mystery fish, here, well, silure seems like a very likely fit; and I can’t think of what else it could otherwise be. Silures are the largest carnivorous freshwater fish species, but also among the largest of any type of freshwater fish. Most sturgeons, which are among the largest freshwater species of fish, don’t grow as large or long as this mystery fish; but silures are said to grow as long as around 2.5m, so certainly over 7ft.

    If it’s a saltwater fish, then shark would strike me as plausible; based on what I see for a pointed snout, size, and tapering of body. If it was not skinned, it’d be much easier to say, and short of that, if it was not gutted, we could have a better idea; because gutting it has removed some of the tapering appearance or shape, but while I believe to perceive some.

    Oarfish don’t taper; they’re shaped rather like eels. Those may taper, someone might say, but only at the ends, the rest of the body being quite uniform; like with snakes.

  107. Necro responds:

    The palm trees look like Sable Palms native to florida and the fish looks like a “Bowfin or Dogfish” that inhabit Floridas fresh water , but the color of the fish is off.

  108. shovethenos responds:

    Necro-

    Interesting theory. It’s the best “fish” theory I’ve seen so far.

    But there are still a lot of problems with it. Like you said, the color is off. So are a lot of others – mouth, eye, etc.

    Bowfin are only supposed to grow to 2ft or so, so even if it is a bowfin or in the bowfin family, it would probably still be considered a cryptid. (It, or the part pictured, is at least 6 feet long.)

    Or if it is a hoax a bowfin is one of the strong possibilities of what was used.

    Personally, I’m still leaning towards some kind of reptile, but your theory is a strong possibility.

  109. Toirtis responds:

    The bowfin idea is unique, but not very accurate….the head and body structure of the ‘fish’ do not come anywhere close to that of an Amiidae, which is, coincidentally, one of the primitive fish groups that I have studied extensively.

  110. CryptoInformant responds:

    It is reptilian, and certainly related to snakes, but is in fact a mosasaur. The “caudal penduncle” is where the tail fin starts, and the paddles are cut off. The scales are easily visible, and are very uncharacteristic of fish, but perfect for a reptile. The odd upcurve of the mouth is actually a color patterning, and the “gill” is the edge of the head. One paddle is right behind the head, and you can see the huge wound where it was. The other one is either that splotch 3/4 of the way to the tail, or folded under at the same place.

  111. youcantryreachingme responds:

    ok – I’ve only looked at the first 75 suggestions, but it’s 3am now ..yawn.. so here goes. To date, I’d say likely a shark. Tiger, megamouth or an unknown large catshark (which is far less likely).

    Here’s my 2million cents on the first 75 suggestions!

    1) it’s not a squid
    2) it doesn’t look fake
    3) it doesn’t look like Silurus at all – Silurus has a tiny, forward facing mouth in comparison. At this point I’d say the head looks more croc/alligator/caiman like. In addition, I think the caudal (tail) fin is visible – lying on it’s side. Silurus has long dorsal and anal fins that join to the caudal fin – very different to this critter’s tail shape.
    4) I doubt it’s skinned – why bother? This looks like a “we just dragged this out of the sea” photo. If you want a photo of a mammoth like that, you’d take it before skinning it.
    5) Agree at this stage the head *looks* croc like – but the tail fin doesn’t.
    6) rotten shark? Hmm… body shape is more eel-like – although admittedly sharks come in many many different shapes – and let’s face it – we don’t know what this is, so why not a shark?
    7) How long’s a fathom? Let’s assume the guys are about 5’5.. then the fish is about 8′.
    8) nahrwal? no. the eye is in completely the wrong position – and whales have vertically flattened tails, not laterally – the stripe on the side of this fish shows that at the tail, the body is laterally compressed and lying on its side
    9) Nurse shark? Ok – head shape is good, but there is no indication that dorsal fins have rotted off. In addition, look at the size of this thing’s mouth. And it appears to have a single gill cover – not gill slits as per sharks
    10) Mekong Catfish? Ok – I’m liking this suggestion. I too thought of SE Asia – but only because of the palm trees. I also thought of South American freshwater fish – but I think this photo’s on an ocean beach. The Mekong is slightly narrower anterior to the tail – I still think this looks like an eel with a huge head.
    11) ah the pirarucu – and that would be the south american fish i thought of. our photographed friend does not appear to have scales – so either s/he *is* skinned as previously suggested, or not a pirarucu. Also – the snout is far too large, the eye is not far back enough and sits more on top of the head than with the pirarucu
    12) Dunkleosteus? That’s new to me. Does it mean “dark bones”? From the linked animation, Dunkleosteus has eyes far further forward. Notwithstanding eye position – I like this suggestion for its head shape. Still, the caudal fin looks wrong.
    15) mouth looks larger than it is – I agree. it’s actually very hard to decide where the mouth really ends – but either way, it definately has a large mouth, and likely a large bite – which supports the shark theory again; and as you say, palm trees. but which shark? who knows!
    16) snakehead? i like this one. for starters, the body, tail and head shape are right on. the blotchy skin colour matches, and the pectoral fin is in the right position for where we presume this fish once had it’s pecs.. our friend seems to have a slightly larger than expected head for a snakehead – and probably its body is a little deflated by being dead. the eye appears just slightly further back than expected for a snakehead – but I’d say all features match nearly enough, given the circumstances to say this is a really good guess. If you say the record length is 1.8m, then this might be a new species – just a little larger. (or a giant). just not quite the pointy mouth we’d expect. but so far – this ranks closest.
    18) coelecanth? I’d be surprised that Loren posed the question then! There is more flesh in the tail of the coelecanth, and it is a rounder shape, too (where the fin rays begin).
    19) sturgeon? our critter lacks the upturned pointed snout. And sturgeon seem much more plate-like to me (although I don’t know all 20 species personally!)
    20) the men are marines? no pun intended I presume! But I’m with you – initial thought “gator” – but then there’s the tail, which itself also defies “shark”..
    21) wels? another good suggestion! Some wels have deep-set bodies, but some appear more slender like this one. Look at this photo, rotate it right, mirror it, and enlarge, and it’s a pretty good match – admittedly, being hung up, and from its jaw, will affect it’s overall appearance – but again the caudal fin is a very good match – there is a slight depression in the skull of our friend which appears in other photos of the wels. likewise the dip in body shape behind the head, and notice too that “spare tyre” of apparent flesh behind the gill cover. The shape of the curve on the gill cover, and the apparent lack of dorsal fins matches too. good suggestion. beats the snakehead.
    22) pygmy sperm whale? again – my problem with mammals is that their caudal fins are dorso-ventrally compressed, unlike this critter.
    23) cuttlefish?? now *that* *I* don’t see at all!
    24) oh yes – sharks can very much be upstream in rivers, even in straight fresh water.
    25) hm. that shark again. the more i look, the more the snout and mouth say “shark” while the tail says “wels”…
    29) the garbage. i like that observation. i noticed the bins, but didn’t think how they might apply here. don’t know if skinning a shark will make it appear not to have multiple gill slits – but your reasoning goes to explain one way in which this thing might end up with an apparently larger than expected head. Still – the lines seem clean – that is, no break between an untouched head and a filleted body…
    31) a silure is a wels? doh! i’ve discounted the silure, but said yes to the wels. are you suuuure? in defence – after looking up “wels” – I’ve now seen more. But the mouth area is still a bit ambiguous.
    33) Ahh – salamander! Now that came to mind too! In fact, I was thinking “GIANT AXOLOTYL!!!” You mention Andrius davidianus. I couldn’t find it online, but here’s Andruis japonicus and here as well. It certainly is similar at the head and body – but we have no legs! ANd probably we also have a caudal fin – neither japonicus photo shows us the tail unfortunately.
    36) OK – oarfish certainly get big, but their very laterally flattened – unlike the head of our critter.
    39) genetically mutated fish post atomic? Plausible suggestion (although usually such creatures don’t live long enough to grow big.)
    40) Christian – I like your approach. I still have difficulty with the shark carcass because I think the photo shows a caudal fin with rays, unlike the fleshier shark caudals (unless I’m missing a shark – and believe me, I’m probably missing thousands!)
    42) land on the other side / freshwater – or we could be looking across a bay, too… :(
    Side Note: I had trouble working out how long the snout was – but given the angle of the mens’ shadows, I think the animal’s snout is longer, with the foremost part in shadow.
    47) Lungfish – good observation of eye position and size – but I think lungfish have more diminutive and rounder eyes. Also, the junction between the caudal rays and body is more abrubt in our critter.
    48) Decayed bottom feeding shark. I’m tending this way too except for the caudal fin rays. Catsharks are about the right shape, but too small.
    53) The caudal peduncle. Ditto. I used – and erased – the word “peduncle” about a dozen times to this point – I wasn’t sure if I was remembering it right. But ditto.
    59) Again – I like the trashcan / washed up corpse suggestion. Megamouth? Here’s one that *appears* not to have fins, much like our fellow, and this one shows the jawline going way back behind the eye. .. good body shape – barely visible dorsals.
    60) whale or porpoise from on top? where is the blowhole?
    61) lungfish again – wow! love your link! aww – i want one as a pet!
    63) Gunshot wound – I cannot see; I just see skin colouration. Stretcher – I can visualise that. Tiger Shark? Eye is too far back, and again the caudal peduncle…
    65) tarpon? – the tarpon has large scales, and a rounder eye with an iris.. I just can’t see it.
    66) Gunshot again. OK – I can see the pattern is slightly different to the body markings. So it was shot.
    67) Dorsalectus elusivii? Doh! I just knew I shouldn’t have bothered googling that!
    74) Snake/Eel mix? Exactly!
    75) Shark from above? Then it’s coloured on only one side :(

  112. Mfdcapt4 responds:

    Name the mystery fish???

    I’d name him Eddy..

  113. Curious_Hanuman responds:

    Not a fish.

    Any prize fish (caught or found) worth photographing would either be strung up by its tail, held by the three men, or if a bit rotten- it would be at their feet and they would be standing or kneeling behind it. The lucky fisherman photos at the local bait shop always have the same format.

    More likely a windsock or kite. Note the frayed canvas edge below the neck. Also, the stick aligned with the “fish” has looped string going from the stick to the edge of the canvas fish clearly visible at a couple of points. The crudely painted face and the daubing of paint along the sides, lack of body fins, pointed nose, cartoony way the mouth line directly connects to gill slit, faintly visible ribs of a wooden framework, canvas weave showing in body paint, paper-mache look of head.

    Could be a joke mascot for a barracks, remnant of a prank, or local souvenir immortalized in a postcard for the friends back home.

  114. Loren Coleman responds:

    Wow…114 comments at

    Name the Mystery Fish

    but whatever happened to that compiled list of ideas…

    it only reached 75?

  115. Loren Coleman responds:

    If not a fish, then what? If not a real animal, then what? Have people seen this before? Does it haunt the psyche as something long remembered but now forgotten? The mystery continues…into over 350 comments through 2006.

  116. GregH responds:

    It is a the decayed remains of a Tiger shark that has had it’s fins and tail removed. The “stick” in front of it is a handle for the stretcher they carried it with.

  117. Bob Michaels responds:

    A Crocodile Shark, yes it exists.

  118. GizaSphinx responds:

    Ah, I know this may be a little late to add my two cents, however I’m quite sure I know what this is. I’ve spent a long time looking at this photo, and noticed that there is no clear connection between the head and the body. This leads me to the conclusion that this is the head of one animal, layed upon the body of another, simply as a joke to make it appear as a strange creature. Hopefully some people are still watching this and will see this comment. I’m very very sure about this.

  119. GizaSphinx responds:

    Yes, I spent some more time just staring at this, and its now beyond any doubt to me, that this is the head of one animal, layed upon another animal. Its a joke these three men made, nothing more.

  120. travler1300 responds:

    It’s not a fish at all. It’s a giant anaconda snake. they grow up to 100ft or so long, but its very rare. You can Google giant anaconda and pull up this same picture under images

  121. travler1300 responds:

    Or it might be a african python depending on where in the world they are, both able to grow that large, the anaconda and African python

  122. randomthorn4714 responds:

    ^_^ looks like a shark to me.



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