Sea serpents! Mysteries!

It’s 1899. A tramp steamer rides out a tsunami in the South Pacific, and then visits some of the devastated islands in search of news and cargo. On one particularly remote island, the natives tell of a gigantic two-headed sea serpent that washed up on a beach in the tsunami’s wake.

The steamer’s captain is skeptical, but decides to check it out. A couple of weeks later, having docked in Sydney, the captain tells the tale and announces plans to give the serpent’s bones, now in the bottom of the steamer’s hold, to the museum of natural history.

But although the papers at the time reported it as a done deal and indicated that many people had indeed seen the bizarre skeleton of this 60-foot-long creature, no museums have a record of any such thing.

Why? If not to a museum, where did the bones go?

How did something like this disappear from public record, neither exposed as a hoax or a case of mistaken identity, nor catalogued by the scientists to whom it was ostensibly given, but just gone without a trace, save for scraps of old newspaper reports?

Now that’s a setup that can fire up the imagination…and the best part is, it really happened.

Read more about it at A Strange Manuscript.

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