What was the mysterious Globster on the shores of Scotland?
December 2, 2017
In September of 1808, after a horrible storm, a large globster washed up on a beach on the Island of Stronsay, one of the Orkney Islands, near Scotland.
Do you have any idea what a Globster is? I hope not. I hope I am the first to tell you.
Globster has become the semi-technical name for any large, unidentified and mysterious creature that is found washed up on the world’s beaches, and there have been many. Sometimes globsters remain unidentified, but often they are simply the partly decomposed bodies of known animals such as sharks or whales.
The action of bacteria, and the motion of the sea turns them into something unrecognizable and often scary or shocking. If you have ever been to a seashore, you have no doubt had smaller versions of globsters near your toes in the sand.
In September of 1808, after a horrible storm, a large globster washed up on a beach on the Island of Stronsay, one of the Orkney Islands, near Scotland. The globster was 55 feet long. Whatever it was seemed a bit incomplete, as if part of a tail could be missing. Crowds gathered.
At the time, the Natural History Society of Edinburgh (Wernerian Society) declared it a new species of what was probably a sea serpent and dubbed it Halsydrus Pontoppidan (Pontoppidan’s Sea Snake). Erik Pontoppidan had been a scholar of sea serpents, describing them extensively in his work fifty years earlier.
When the globster was discovered in 1808, Stronsay was spelled Stronsa, and the beast also went by the name Stronsa Monster.
Later, in 1849, Scottish professor, John Goodsir, concluded that it was the remains of a basking shark in a state of decay. These decaying sharks often take on the appearance of plesiosaurs and have fooled more than one expert.
At the National Museum of Scotland, one can make an appointment to read transcripts of witness accounts in the Wernerian Society Notes.
A recent article in The Telegraph stated that there are fragments of the Stronsay Beast well-preserved at the Royal Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh. In the near future, it may be possible to extract genetic information from these fragments. Scientists want to send samples to a special shark facility in Florida to see if the creature does contain shark DNA. If it does, a long time mystery could be solved, if it doesn’t, perhaps we should cue the Outer Limits music.
Sara Marie Hogg is the author of Quite Curious, a collection of true stores based on the bizarred and unexplained. Please click HERE to find the book on Amazon.