Margate had a monster of its very own – the legendary Trunko

Pic by AC Jones, taken from Wikipedia

A HUGE, hairy, mysterious sea creature has washed up on a beach in the Philippines in the past week, thought to have come ashore following a recent earthquake.

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Images of the creature have since gone viral online, with several people offering up suggestions – some plausible, others not so – as to what it might be.

The beast is actually a 20 foot long whale carcass, local scientists have said.

The body of the whale, which weighs approximately 2 000 kilograms, is believed to have turned white due to an advanced stage of decomposition.

The animal is thought to have died approximately two weeks earlier, possibly after being hit by a ship.

Whatever it’s origins, to joins a series of ‘globsters’ that have washed up on the shores of the planet’s oceans over the years.

‘Globster’ is the name given to an unidentified organic mass that washes up on the shoreline of an ocean or other body of water.

Back in 1922, Margate had a globster of its own. It washed up on the beach on November 1 and was nicknamed Trunko.

The discovery was made by Hugh Balance, owner of the farm ‘Margate’, which was later split up into half-acre plots to form the nucleus of the fledgling town.

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On the morning of November 1,” wrote Mr Ballance, “I saw what I took to be two whales fighting with some sea monster about 1 300 yards from the shore. I got my glasses and was amazed to see what I took to be a polar bear, but of truly mammoth proportions.

“This creature I observed to rear out of the water fully 20 feet and to strike repeatedly with what I took to be its tail at the two whales, but with seemingly no effect.”

Apparently the whales departed after about three hours, leaving the monster floating in the water.

it was washed ashore that night and Mr Ballance inspected it in the morning. He reported that it was “47 feet long, 10 feet in breadth and five feet high. At one end it had a trunk about 14 inches in diameter and five feet long.

At the other end was a tail, two feet thick and 10 feet long. The horror was clothed in snow-white hair and seemed to be devoid of blood.”

Ten days later a spring tide washed the creature out to sea again, before any scientist could arrive on the scene and give a dull, if logical, explanation.

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So Margate was allowed to keep its ‘monster’ myth, which was not reported in the international press until more than two years later, in the London Daily Mail of December 27, 1924.

Amazingly, Trunko is the only globster to have been sighted while still alive, thus discrediting claims the corpse was a mass of whale blubber (a common globster explanation).

Only four photos were ever taken of Trunko though, incredibly, they were completely overlooked by globster researchers until 2010.

The first photo discovered shows a man prodding the renowned elephantine trunk with a stick.

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  AUTHOR
Susan Cooke
Features Editor

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