Jun 21, 2014 I Micah Hanks

What Was This Giant “Monster” Seen Off Sanibel Island?

Off the southwestern coast of Florida, Sanibel Island is a beautiful locale with as much history as there is natural beauty to be found. In modern use since the early 1830s, occupation by Calusa Indians dates back to as much as 2400 years earlier. Today, 5200 acres of the island belong to the J.N. Darling National Wildlife Refuge, where everything from sea life to bobcats and coastal birds continue to thrive.

But perhaps the wildlife described above is not all that has continued to thrive around the island.

In October of last year, a couple in Florida claim they managed to film a "monster" while boating off the coast of Sanibel Island, and though startled by the strange, and very large creature, they managed to capture some rather exciting footage of it, whatever "it" may have been. Below is the footage as it appeared online:


What follows is the only commentary posted to their YouTube channel with the video:

"Excuse the language we use in the clip. We were scared! It's either a massive Anaconda or a Sea Monster. What ever came out of that water scared the life out of my fiance and I. We were fishing on our boat in the shallow bay area of Sanibel Island, FL, on October 6th, 2013 when we saw what looked like a bus speeding through the water. At first we thought we were watching Manatee swimming which we see all the time but this animal was moving very fast and looked to be attacking something. All of a sudden, part of it's body sprung out of the water and appeared to have something wrapped up. Then it was gone. We honestly don't know what it was but it's head resembled a sea otter and the body looked like a giant 20 plus foot snake. If a cement utility poll was laying down horizontally, that would be the width and length of this sea creature." 

The description they give is indeed rather tantalizing. Perhaps one of the more striking elements, in addition to the large "creature" observed here is the woman's reaction at 0:30 into the clip, just as the "money shot" occurs, and the thing--whatever it is--rolls out of the water for a moment. It seems that she is exhibiting real fear as this animal moves close to their boat, and that when they wrote, "excuse the language" and that "we were scared!", they obviously meant it.

What was the creature? Again, if the description they gave was accurate, it tells us several things about this animal that we aren't able to discern from the video alone, such as the serpent-like appearance, and the face that resembled that of a "sea otter." For those with interest in reports of gigantic "sea serpents", this creature certainly does bear resemblance to the kinds of serpentine creatures often reported in our oceans.

In an interesting side note for lovers of other varieties of "monsters", fans of George A. Romero's 1985 film Day of the Dead will be interested to know that parts of the movie were actually shot on location nearby in the city of Sanibel, where Romero had a home at the time.

Is it possible that there is a mystery beast lurking in the waters off the coast of Florida? While some feel that it is impossible for large animals like Bigfoot to exist in parts of America (despite a rich history of purported interactions, and even kidnappings involving the beast), marine biologists have noted that more than 750,000 different marine species may exist in our oceans, and furthermore, that minority of these, though still a significant number, could be large animals.

Have you observed any large or otherwise unfamiliar sea animals, particularly in the following localities?

  • Florida, southern coast
  • South Atlantic, West African Coast, South Africa

If so, please use this email to share your reports, as we would like to hear about them.

Micah Hanks

Micah Hanks is a writer, podcaster, and researcher whose interests cover a variety of subjects. His areas of focus include history, science, philosophy, current events, cultural studies, technology, unexplained phenomena, and ways the future of humankind may be influenced by science and innovation in the coming decades. In addition to writing, Micah hosts the Middle Theory and Gralien Report podcasts.

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