The mystery of a previously unknown sea monster dubbed the ‘baby Loch Ness monster’ has finally been solved.
It washed up on the beach in Poole, Dorset, leaving locals scratching their heads over the beast’s possible identity.
Lindsay Freeman, who made the discovery, said: “I was walking on the beach at the time. It caught my eye because it was so unusual looking and large.
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“I couldn’t think of an animal that had a tail like a shark, but also legs like a turtle. It also looked like it had little arms and a very strange head.
“It looked like a sea monster.”
She said she went in search of other opinions to help her try and get to the bottom of what the strange thing could be.
She added: “I thought it was very cool and wanted to know more.
“I sent an email to my family first and when we couldn’t figure it out, it just ate at me – I wanted to know what it was; it had to have an explanation.
“I’ve never encountered something like this.”
Despite finding the remains in November, Lindsay decided to post the images online last week.
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Some people speculated that it was a baby Lochie, while others thought it could be a type of ray that had parts of it missing.
While the internet was left scratching its head, an expert has now weighed in and could well have the answer.
A project manager at the UK Cetacean Strandings Investigation Programme, Rob Deaville, has chipped in with his thoughts on the matter.
He reckoned it was a type of elasmobranch, a wider family that includes rays and sharks.
“I'm not an expert in elasmobranch identification,” he said, “but to my untutored eye, this looks like the remains of a skate or a ray.
“It looks like there are claspers next to the tail and eyes dorsally on the top of the head.
“I assume the pectoral fins have been removed and the rest of the body discarded.”
Lindsay added: “I thought it was some kind of strange shark with legs.
“It was definitely smooth like a fish or water animal.
“Friends and family guessed it was a dogfish, turtle without a shell, or the Loch Ness Monster. None [of these answers] seemed satisfying.
“Online, there were lots of suggestions like dogfish, turtle, salamander, lizard, sea monster, Loch Ness monster.
“Once we posted it, we got a flood of funny and serious responses – it seemed to capture many people’s imaginations.”
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