August in the North Atlantic: Sea Serpents and Merbeings

Posted by: Loren Coleman on August 6th, 2011

Manitoba Daily Free Press

Winnipeg, Manitoba

August 28, 1891


An Old Friend Re-appears and is Viewed by Canadian Fishermen.

SHEDIAC, N.B., Aug. 26. — Five reliable fishermen report seeing a sea serpent off Richibacto shore. It was two hundred feet long, about as thick as a man’s body, had a flat shaped head with eyes on the top like a frog. It resembled a snake and sometimes raised its head six feet out of the water, and its body curved like an immense hawser. They were near enough to see scales on its body and were in view of it for an hour.


Lincoln Evening News

Lincoln, Nebraska

April 4, 1898

An Eighteenth Century Wonder.

An amusing and detailed account of a merman seen in the Atlantic, written apparently in good faith, ends with the following description of the monster, which may possibly have been a seal or a sea lion: “That monster is about eight feet long, his skin is brown and tawny, without any scales, all his motions are like those of men, the eyes of a proportionate size, a little mouth, a large and flat nose, very white teeth, black hair, the chin covered with a mossy beard, a sort of whiskers under the nose, the ears like those of men, [illegible] between the fingers of his hands and feet like those of ducks. In a word, he is a well shaped man. Which is certified to be true by Captain Oliver Morin and John Martin, pilot, and by the whole crew, consisting of two-and-thirty men.” (An article from Brest in the “Memoirs of Trevoux.”) This monster was mentioned in The Gazette of Amsterdam Oct. 12, 1725, where it is said it was seen in the ocean in August of the same year. — Household Words.

Thanks to Jerome Clark for these two items.

Manatee Mermaids

Please click on the image for the full-size editorial image.

Thanks to Mia B. Smith, Permissions Coordinator at American Scientist, who informs me the copyright credit for this illustration is Bill Long, 2005.

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.

5 Responses to “August in the North Atlantic: Sea Serpents and Merbeings”

  1. twblack responds:

    I am sure there was and still is a lot of misidentifed sea monsters or creatures that are known to us. But I myself believe 100% that there is still some very large creatures either not known or thought to be extinct that are still out there in the open ocean. I believe unknown sea serpents, creatures, monsters are more in the realm of possibilty than any lake monsters of which, yes, I am a little skeptical. Not to say they are not real just a little harder to believe for myself.

  2. stonelk responds:

    If you want a sea monster or mermaid just look on ebay. This one would have been great for my annual haunted house.

  3. springheeledjack responds:

    While I think that yes, there was still a fair amount of unidentified creatures in the sea back in those days of yore, sailors and fishermen were on the water day in and day out–they had to have a fair amount of experience and expertise telling the difference between sharks, whales, dolphins and all manner of fish–they weren’t all drunken sots that had been out to sea too long.

    While I’d say 200 foot was probably an exaggeration–or at least a story might have grown, the details are pretty specific. And if all five men corroborated the same account, I’m willing to give it its due. The ocean has proved its big enough to hide all manner of things, and if there’s one environment on earth I’m willing to put money on cryptids (and big ones), it’s the ocean.

  4. springheeledjack responds:

    As for mermaids, yeah, I’ll give the manatee its due too. However, some of those accounts–I just can’t wrap my mind around it, so I have no idea what is really being seen. Who knows, perhaps there’s other humanoid looking critters down there we haven’t discovered yet…while a mermaid is pushing the boundaries of evolution, I’m not going to say it’s 100% baloney…have you seen some of the crazy stuff that’s been discovered down in the depths???

  5. John Kirk responds:

    That first one from Manitoba is a bit dubious and it is Richibucto, New Brunswick not Richibacto. Where are the names of any of the fishermen? Must have been a slow newsday.

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