Sōya (Lützow-Holm Bay, 1958)
During Second Japanese Antarctic Research Expedition, the research ship Sōya reportedly sighted a sea monster on 13 February 1958, in a floe of sea ice near the Flatvaer Islands, within Antarctica's Lützow-Holm Bay. In Japan, this cryptid has been nicknamed Nankyoku Gojira (南極ゴジラ; Japanese: "Antarctic Godzilla").
The captain of the Sōya, Matsumoto Mitsuru, reported the sighting in his book Nankyoku Yusō-ki (1959). According to his account, at around 07:00 P.M. on 13 February 1958, when the Sōya was being towed through an ice floe by the icebreaker USCGC Burton Island, and he was on the bridge with other officers, he drew the attention of the others to a black shape, too large to be a seal, which had emerged from the water. One of the officers opined that it was a drum jettisoned by the Burton Island, but after a few moments, the shape turned towards the Sōya. The chief engineer hurried to his cabin to retrieve his camera, but by the time he returned to the deck, the animal was no longer visible.
All of the officers on deck claimed to have seen the animal, with one man observing it through a pair of binoculars. According to Matsumoto Mitsuru, it had a cow-like head, 70–80 cm (27–31 in) in length, with a rounded cranium and a somewhat monkey-like face, large eyes, and pointed ears. It was covered in fur, with a definite dark brown coat of relatively long 10 cm (3 in) or so hair, which Matsumoto thought covered its whole body. An engineer onboard the Soya added that the animal had a row of vertical, saw-shaped fins running down its back. The ship's biologist, Dr. Yoshii, was unable to identify it.
Sovetskaya Rossiya (1967)
In December 1967, Mikhail Izbenko of the Soviet newspaper Vechernyaya Moskva reported that a pair of snake-like sea serpents had been observed by helicopter pilots Ivan Dzhus and Fyodor Dolzhenko, from the whaling factory ship Sovetskaya Rossiya, where Izbenko was stationed as a TASS correspondent, and which was then in the Antarctic, south of the Indian Ocean. The sea serpents seen by the pilots were described as 48–49 ft (14 m) in length and 3 ft (91 cm) in width, with light brown skin; they moved with "convulsive," serpentine motions, after initially resting "almost calmly" at the surface. Vessels in the area were warned to watch for the animals, as it was feared they could be dangerous to shipping.
Later accounts indicated that dozens of reports of such animals had been made, including observations of the sea serpents hunting pods of small whales, and travelling in groups of up to thirty individuals. Dale Drinnon believes these serpents to be mosasaurian marine saurians, most commonly reported from waters off New Zealand.
Notes and references
- Matsumoto Mitsuru (1959) Nankyoku Yusō-ki [南極輸送記]
- Bright, Charles (1991) Sea Serpents
- Swords, Michael D. (31 May 2011) Peeking at Ivan's SITU Files: Meaningless Reports of Sea Monsters: Part Two thebiggeststudy.blogspot.com [Accessed 16 August 2021]
- Sjadro, V. V.; Iovleva, T.; & Ochkurova, O. (2014) 100 Znamenitykh Zagadok Prirody
- Nepomniachtchi, Nikolai Nikolaevich (2001) Gigantskiy Morskoy Zmey
- Drinnon, Dale A. (1 May 2013) More on Mosasaur Sightings frontiersofzoology.blogspot.com [Accessed 16 August 2021]
- Pernatiev, Yuri (2015) Domovyye, Rusalki i Drugiye Zagadochnyye Sushchestva, Klub Semeynogo Dosuga