Bizarre Baffin Skull

Posted by: Loren Coleman on May 30th, 2006

The "what-are-theys" are happening faster than I can post them all before my trip to Texas this week to speak at the Bigfoot exhibit at UT. Now comes this Baffin Island mystery. Here’s another one for May 30th.

Mystery Skull

Canadian Canoe reporter John Thompson, through a dispatch from Iqaluit writes:

A mysterious skull discovered on the edge of the Arctic Circle has sparked interest in what creatures roamed Baffin Island in the distant past, and what life a warming climate may support in the future.

Andrew Dialla, a resident of Pangnirtung, Nunavut, says he found the skull protruding from the frozen tundra during a walk near the shore with his daughter about a month ago. The horned skull is about the size of a man’s fist.

What is it?

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.

19 Responses to “Bizarre Baffin Skull”

  1. kokodhem responds:

    omg, you’re gonna be here in UT? When, where? Would love to shake your hand…

  2. kokodhem responds:

    Oh, no, never mind my last comment… I see UT and I think Utah. =1

    Would still love to meet you, though.

  3. DWA responds:

    I hear deer speculation. Which it ain’t.

    Antlers and horns are different. Whatever those are, they aren’t antlers, which are not an integral part of a deer’s skull.

    If, um, a skull is what that is….

  4. Tabitca responds:

    so far theories I have heard are a baby caribou, a viking helmet,a small unknown dinosaur. I wonder if it resembles any species of deer from Africa? (the viking helmet made me laugh so much I forgot to ask how they came to that conclusion)
    I just get so excited when anything new is discovered, I have to rush off and find out everything I can…my daughter said I’m turning from a rock chick into a nerd.

  5. Toirtis responds:

    A link to a CBC news story with two skull photos.

  6. Loren Coleman responds:

    Cryptozoologist Chad Arment makes a worthy suggestion on his mailing list:

    “Regarding that Baffin Island skull, it looks like it probably is the skull of a saiga antelope, which once ranged into North America (Pleistocene). The skull lacks the keratinized sheath, just showing the bony core.”

    I found this image that shows the core, here.

  7. Toirtis responds:

    Possibly, but the structure under the horns/antlers is different, the base of the horns/antlers lacks the concavity of the saiga example, and there just does not seem the correct spacing for the same placement of the ocular cavities…perhaps the animal was a somewhat deformed juvenile, or a hitherto unknown Saiga species.

  8. Mari responds:

    Maybe it is an anomalous specimen from a known species.

    Just throwing the idea out there. =)

  9. Tabitca responds:

    could it be a form of Dawson’s Dwarf caribou? I saw a skull with horns /antlers of one for sale when I was in Canada a few years ago which dated back to early this century.

  10. snake5007 responds:

    how old is it?

  11. Ceroill responds:

    Hmm. Intrigueing. I followed the link to the CBS story, but could only find one picture there. The same picture as shown above. Still, it is interesting. Thanks Loren.

  12. Toirtis responds:

    “Ceroill Says:
    Hmm. Intrigueing. I followed the link to the CBS story, but could only find one picture there. The same picture as shown above.”

    Look to the right and up near the top of the page, just below the Inukshuk. Just below that pic is a link to a radio interview with the man who found the thing.

  13. jayman responds:

    Something of the antelope family makes sense, if not specifically a saiga. A member of the Pronghorn group could be a possibility. They are related to antelopes, and have the permanent bony core, but shed the horny sheath.

  14. Jeremy_Wells responds:

    This isn’t the way antlers grow (or at least not from my experience as a deer hunter).
    These definitely seem to indicate horns with the outer keratin layer having dropped away (as Loren pointed out in #6). Look at an old, weathered cow skull as an example.
    Antlers start out as small, velvet covered nubs. The velvet stays on as the antlers grow and branch, and then the velvet is rubbed away, revealing the bony antlers. But these are eventually shed and either gnawed on by mice and bugs or picked up by children, hunters or other outdoorspeople.
    My guess is some sort of antelope.

  15. rubberice responds:

    My vote is for the Siaga Antelope based on the image in this link.


  16. rubberice responds:

    This image shows a Saiga Antelope with significant variation in the shape of the horns. Maybe this scull had one antler that grew inward.


  17. DWA responds:

    Based on former occupancy of the general area in which this skull was found, I might be inclined to vote saiga (or something related) as well.

  18. Wesker responds:

    The photo looks alot like a deer skull that was regrowing its horns or some kind of dear.

  19. Wesker responds:

    It might be a new kind of dino.

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