Depiction of the Soya monster, supposedly drawn by one of the eyewitnesses.

Date 13 February 1958
Location Southern Ocean
Principal eyewitnesses Matsumoto Mitsuru

The Japanese ship Soya sighted a sea serpent on 13 February 1958, in an ice floe in the Southern Ocean, off Antarctica.[1] In Japan, this cryptid has been nicknamed Nankyoku Gojira (南極ゴジラ, Japanese: "Antarctic Godzilla").


The captain of the Soya, 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 Soya 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 Soya. 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.[1]

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, seventy to eighty centimetres in length, with a somewhat monkey-like face, large eyes, and pointed ears. It was covered in fur, with a definite dark brown coat of relatively long (ten centimetres or so) hair. 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.[1]

Notes and references

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Matsumoto Mitsuru (1959) Nankyoku Yusō-ki [南極輸送記]
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