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Greece

The original sighting.

2DD63E8600000578-0-image-a-2 1445954826150

Another sighting.

The Greek Dolphin Monster, also called Grecian Dolphin, is a strange, mutated, dolphin-like animal sighted two times off the coast of Greece by tourists.

The picture was posted on Twitter and caused big discussions, calling on some cryptozoologists. Many theories abounded, one saying a hoax, another a mutated dolphin from nuclear waste, another one said it was an alien. Some people suggested it to be some type of pike fish or long snout manatee/dugong. It highly resembles the Zeuglodons ancestor, Ambulocetus. It remains unknown what the thing is.

Cryptomundo

Here is some text from Cryptomundo about the beast:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/travel/travel_news/article-3291841/Mystery-deep-Tourist-baffled-bizarre-SEA-MONSTER-photobombed-holiday-snaps-Corfu.html


There are many explanations, but here are the 5 most plausible ones as stated by Cryptomundo and other cryptozoology and mythology websites.

Boat

Comparison between the Greek Dolphin Monster and a dolphin boat bumper.


The Sighting

A strange photo of what appears to be an unknown marine animal taken by a Scottish tourist in the Greek islands is making headlines around the world.

Harvey Robertson was on a boat cruise off the coast of Parga, sailing through sea caves with his family. He was initially just trying to capture the unusual color of the surrounding water with his iPhone camera. Robertson says he didn’t see the animal at the time but when looking back through his camera, Robertson saw that he had captured a grey creature that resembles an elongated manatee. The strange animal appears to pop out of the water in one photo, then disappears under the greenish water in the next.

The viral photo has sparked speculation among armchair zoologists and monster lovers about what this bizarre animal might be, ranging from a beaked whale to the “love child of a hippo and crocodile” (best not dwell on the logistics of that coupling). While the image has some superficially similar features to various animals it does not in fact look like any known animal.

All the ideas are interesting, but teams of marine biologists packing their bags for a long-term research project in the sunny Greek islands to study the beast may want to hold off on making plane reservations because this chimera has been identified.

Zoologist Dr. Darren Naish of the National Oceanography Centre at the University of Southampton and host of the Tetrapod Zoology podcast believes that a skin sample biopsy of the “creature” would reveal high concentrations of Polyvinyl Chloride. In other words, he believes that the creature is actually a plastic freeboard fender, an object attached to boats to protect them from damage, that simply broke off and floated away into the sea. This explanation is believed by many cryptozoologists.

Ambolucetus

Cute Cryptid

Another image of the animal, this time supporting the Ambulocetus Theory.

The sighting closely resembles the extinct Ambolocetus, although it is unlikely that Ambolocetus survived extinction.

Ambulocetus was an early cetacean that could walk as well as swim. Along with other members of Ambulocetidae, it is a transitional fossil that shows how whales evolved from land-living mammals. It is also named the walking whale because of this.

Ambulocetus lived in the Early Eocene (50 to 48 million years ago) of Pakistan. When the animal was alive, Pakistan was a coastal region of India, which was then an island continent in the Indian Ocean (see Indian Plate).

Having the appearance of a 3-meter (10-foot) long mammalian crocodile, it was clearly amphibious, as its back legs are better adapted for swimming than for walking on land, and it probably swam by undulating its back vertically, as otters and whales do. It has been speculated that Ambulocetids hunted like crocodiles, lurking in the shallows to snatch unsuspecting prey. Chemical analysis of its teeth shows that it could move between salt and fresh water. Ambulocetus did not have external ears. To detect prey on land, they may have lowered their heads to the ground and felt for vibrations. Scientists consider Ambulocetus to be an early whale because it shares underwater adaptations with them: it had an adaptation in the nose that enabled it to swallow underwater, and itsperiotic bones had a structure like those of whales, enabling it to hear well underwater. In addition, its teeth are similar to those of early cetaceans.

Ambulocetus was recovered from the Upper Kuldana Formation of Pakistan in 1993 by Johannes G.M. Thewissen and Sayed Taseer Hussain. It was described by Thewissen, Hussain, and Mohammad Arif in 1994. It is believed to be from the Lutetian age of the Paleogene period (48.6 to 40.4 million years ago). Ambulocetus is classified under the monophyletic family Ambulocetidae. The family is believed to have diverged from the more terrestrial Pakicetidae. The families Protocetidae and possibly Remingtonocetidae, are believed to have arisen from a common ancestor with ambulocetids. Together with Basilosauridae, the five families are classified under the suborder Archaeoceti.

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