Perhaps one of the most well-known and fascinating creatures known in the field of Cryptozoology is Trunko.  While this Cryptid has supposedly been ‘debunked’ by Karl Shuker in 2010, many discount the findings, as they contradict what numerous people saw.  Below is an article from The Strangerest called What Was Trunko?, from 2009.  No ownership is claimed over this article; it is being posted purely for educational purposes.

On November 1, 1922, something incredible was observered by land owner Hugh Ballance – and at least a handful of additional witnesses – while standing on the shores of South Africa’s Margate beach, in the area known as KwaZulu-Natal.

What these individuals reported seeing that sunny afternoon was a spectacle which, to the modern eye, would seem to have been culled straight out of a Godzilla movie – although in it would be another three and a half decades before that particular atomic fire-breather and its friends would wage their mighty cinematic battles on the silver screen – yet just off the shores of Margate , in the churning depths of the Indian ocean, those onlookers swore they bore witness to what has been described as an epic battle between three gigantic beasts.

Two of the animals were easily recognized by the spectators as whales (probably orca), but the third member of this fracas was deemed utterly unclassifiable. A creature who’s equal has been seen by only a handful of men worldwide. A beast who’s very existence seemed to defy all of the rules of biology and Darwinian logic.

The witnesses stared transfixed at the sight before them as this battle of the titans raged for over three hours, resulting in the deaths of all involved. But as fascinating as the accounts of the battle are, the mystery doesn’t truly begin until later that same evening, when an unfathomably bizarre, 47-foot long corpse washed up on shore.

The creature had no apparent head, yet it bore a 5-foot long trunk, which seemed to just appear from its torso. As if that weren’t strange enough, the animal was said to have a 10-foot long, lobster or prawn-like tail, all of which was covered with what appeared to be a coat of 8 inch long, snow-white hair.

Amazingly, even after the eyewitnesses confirmed that the beached carcass was that of the creature which they had seen fighting in the sea, no official scientific expedition was launched to investigate the corpse. In fact, no real mention of the occurance filtered out of the KwaZulu-Natal region until the London Daily Mail ran a story on December 27, 1924 – over two years after the event!

Even years later, witnesses remembered the clash with incredible detail. They claimed that the creature – which came to be known as Trunko, due to its incredible elephantine appendage – fought a valiant battle against the lethal whales. Many witnesses even swore that they saw Trunko rise over twenty feet from the frothing ocean and use its lobster-like tail as an offensive weapon against its assailants.

A vocal minority of crypto-aficionados have posed the theory that Trunko may have been a living, breathing example of an aquatic-elephant. They claim that these creatures may have evolved back into marine animals – much in the same fashion as modern cetaceans – millions of years ago.

This theory postulates that after a multitude of generations this ancient precursor of the Mastodon would have lost its legs in favor of more useful flippers, and that over the centuries its body would have become more streamlined. This is yet another trait which would parallel this hypothetical animal with the genuine remains of Trunk, which is sometimes referred to as the Natal carcass.

On an even more bizarre note, there are some fringe researchers who have speculated that Trunko may even be extra terrestrial in orgin. This speculation is not entirely unlike the claims made by Ivan T. Sanderson regarding the “Tasmanian Globster”.

Unfortunately this account ends (as is too often the case) with a footnote which claims that after 10 days of rotting right beneath the noses of the South African scientific community, the carcass was washed back out to sea—and forever out of the hands of zoologists, marine biologists and historians—never to be seen again.

In 2010, Cryptozoologist Karl Shuker supposedly ‘debunked’ Trunko.  The following is the excerpt taken from Wikipedia:

 
On 6 September 2010, however, the long-awaited identity of Trunko was finally revealed. Karl Shuker announced that a hitherto-unknown photograph of Trunko had been discovered by German cryptozoologist Markus Hemmler on the website of the Margate Business Association, and Shuker recognised from this photo that Trunko had been nothing more than a globster, i.e. a massive, tough skin-sac of blubber containing collagen that is sometimes left behind when a whale dies and its skull and skeleton have separated from the skin and sunk to the sea bottom. The photo had been snapped by Johannesburg photographer A. C. Jones, who had visited Trunko’s remains while they were beached.[3] Three days later, Shuker revealed that he and Hemmler had independently discovered two more photos of Trunko by Jones that had been published in the August 1925 issue of Wide World Magazine. These close-up photos showed a classic globster, confirming Shuker’s identification of Trunko, and clearly revealed its white ‘fur’ to be exposed connective tissue fibres.[4] So it was the sight of two whales some distance out to sea tossing this globsterised mass into the air, a common practice, that had fooled observers on Margate Beach into assuming that it was alive. Instead, Trunko as a living, white-furred, elephant-trunked cryptid had never existed after all.

This explaination has been dismissed by others; for example, the ‘connective tissue fibres’ explaination does not make sense…They are obviously hairs.  That is our opinion, however; you be the final judge…

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