The Lusca & St Augustine Phenomena is a peculiar story. It seems that the human race knows more about the moon and outer space than whats creeping at the bottom of earth’s oceans. As time passes by, more and more people ask the question, ‘What mysterious creatures are dwelling at the bottom of the sea?’ There appears to be tales of giant octopus’ seizing careless swimmers and vessels occurring in the Bahamas and around the southeast North American coastline. The island people refer to it as ‘Lusca’ and they assume it lives deep within underwater caves. Although, nobody has ever witnessed it thriving in its natural habitat and lived to talk about it.
Just outside St. Augustine, Florida on a lovely evening in November 1896, two men were riding bicycles along the coastline. As they glanced over to the beach, they spotted a gigantic corpse of an unknown creature. Containing numerous legs, the deathly remains were measured at twenty-three feet long, eighteen feet wide, and four feet high. The founder of the St Augustine Historical Society and Institute of Science, Dr Dewitt Webb, was called to examine the corpse.
While taking samples and photographs, Dr Webb noted the carcass was a silvery pink color with skin that was three and a half inches thick. Estimated at around seven tons, he needed several horses, and a group of locals to pull the remains up the beach to keep the waves from taking it back to the sea. Dr Webb was thoroughly assured it was not a whale, but possibly some kind of over-sized octopus so he sent numerous letters to many distinguished scientists describing the remains. A Smithsonian scholar named Professor Verrill briefly responded by saying the decaying creature was a squid. However, Verrill ended up retracting his squid statement and changed it to being octopus after realizing its’ tentacles were possibly a hundred feet long. After receiving tissue samples from Dr Webb, Professor Verrill ended up changing his mind an additional time to the corpse being a whale. While exhaustively disappointed, Dr Webb saved many tissue samples as he could before the decayed remains succumbed to the sea tide.
A mere five decades later, two marine biologists, Dr F.G. Wood and Dr J.F Gennaro Jr. came across old newspaper articles involving the monster which washed up on the coast. They submitted requests to the Smithsonian for samples of the original creature which had washed up on the shore. Dr Wood had earlier been acquainted with the ‘Lusca’ tale while previously working in the Bahamas. The legend describes a gigantic octopus with tentacles up to seventy-five feet long, residing within deep trenches on the sea ground. By observing the samples, Dr. Gennaro and Dr. Wood concluded that the carcass which had washed up on the shore fifty years ago was indeed a massive octopus proving Dr. Webb correct.
Over the years, alternative stories of have squid-like beasts have surfaced. French fisherman have reportedly been attacked by unknown sea creatures while marine biologists are continuously recovering remains of squid which out due the previous. Currently, the most prodigious squid find was in 2003 when a giant squid was located within the waters of Antarctica. It was fifty feet long, and still in its premature stage of growth. While all this evidence seems to be speculative, there indeed is something mysterious lurking at the bottom of the ocean.