Manes turned out to be non-determing factor in sorting since most kinds o f Sea Serpents seem to have some sort of a medial backfin or backbone ridge accentuator. But in this case the larger "Merhorses" were associated with other features such as a much shorter and thicker neck and an enormous eye a foot across or "The size of dinner plates"
Below I'm outlining several features from several distinct reports WORLD-WIDE
Above and below, large Mosasaur reconstructions by Charles R Knight, including the medial backfin. The medial fin does have a reason to be there, to provide stability in a very long body swimming, even as Bernard Heuvelmans had argued for a long low stabilizer down the middle of the back for Basislosaurus (zueglodon)
|Dart SS_sighting_by_Pristichampsus (Tim Morris) on Deviant art|
|Grangense SS_sighting_by_Pristichampsus (Tim Morris) on Deviant Art|
|The U28 and U108 Sea Serpents in World War I were most likely the same type,|
Seen in cold waters of the North Sea and North Atlantic in the summer, and said to be about 100 feet long
Weird Los Angeles: The San Clemente Sea MonsterBelieve it or not, Southern California's San Clemente was once a sea serpent haven. The June 1934 issue of Esquire Magazine For Men featured an intriguing article by a Ralph Bandini who spoke quite openly of his two encounters with the San Clemente Monster. In his article "I Saw A Sea Monster," Bandini commented, "San Clemente Island is a lonely, wind-swept bit of rock and sand lying some fifty miles south of Los Angeles Harbor. It is little frequented except by fishermen. Its waters are lonely too...The Thing itself appears to like this remote bit of ocean - that windy channel between San Clemente and Santa Catalina."
During the early 1900s there were rumors that a strange creature was roaming the Avalon waters, and that some thirty people had seen the monster, but spoke little of it. Baldini was tuna fishing in the southern Californian channels when he first spotted the leviathan. He was ten miles off Catalina when the beast emerged from the water about a mile away. It was no whale. No sea elephant. It was a monster. It was a glistening, dark beast that rose out of the water, and remained exposed for a minute or so before sinking majestically back into the depths.
Baldini chose not to speak of the sighting, despite the possibility of some publicity and small fortune. He respected others who'd seen the beast, and all witnesses he could track down sketched a monster that matched every other sketch he'd seen. Then, in the September of 1920 Ralph had a very close encounter with possibly the same form.
These eyes were around a foot in diameter, like dinner plates, belonging to some great, hulking monster seemingly spewed from one of H.P. Lovecraft's fictional terror tales. But this was real.
The men headed for the creature and got to within one-hundred feet. It appeared as though it was covered in [had a mane they thought was made up of] short, dark bristles, (with) a reddish hue. All that protruded from the water was a huge neck and head. Goodness knows what length and mass lurked beneath the waves it frothed around it. And then it was gone...slipping back into the murky domain.
Only a few witnesses to the San Clemente sea monster remain today. Many have surely never spoken of the great beast, and others died with their secrets. However, what we do know is that out there, somewhere, there still may be one, two, or more sea serpents eluding science, and stirring the waves of legend.
Sources: Strange Ark
[When Tabitca Cape ran this story on her Crypto-osicty blog I immediately saw it was no typical Merhorse sighting but it did also have several measurements in common with the following famous report, and to the Sea Serpent said to have been killed and flensed by the crew of the Monongahela--]
The water was discoloured for several hundred feet from its head: so much so, that on its first appearance my impression was that the ship was in broken water, produced, as I supposed, by some volcanic agency since the last time I passed the island; but the second appearance completely dispelled those fears, and assured us that it was a monster of extraordinary length, which appeared to be moving slowly towards the land. The ship was going too fast, to enable us to reach the mast-head in time to form a correct estimate of its extreme length; but from what we saw from the deck, we conclude that it must have been over two hundred feet long. The boatswain and several of the crew who observed it from the top-gallant fore-castle, state that it was more than double the length of the ship, in which case it must have been five hundred feet. Be that as it may, I am convinced that it belonged to the serpent tribe; it was of a dark colour about the head, and was covered with several white spots.' Captain Harrington, some time afterwards, strengthened his testimony by that of other persons.
Those who sail up along the coast of Norway to trade or to fish, all tell the remarkable story of how a serpent of fearsome size, 200 feet long and 20 feet wide, resides in rifts and caves outside Bergen. On bright summer nights this serpent leaves the caves to eat calves, lambs and pigs, or it fares out to the sea and feeds on [octopus and jellyfish*], crabs and similar marine animals. It has ell-long hair hanging from its neck, sharp black scales and flaming red eyes. It attacks vessels, grabs and swallows people, as it lifts itself up like a column from the water.[*since the jellyfish species named can grow up to three feet in diameter and with tentacles trailing for 15-20 feet, we are talking a rather substantially-sized prey item. Other versions of the sea-serpents' prey list includes mention of squids and cuttlefish, seals, dolphins and small whales. The livestock items would have gone missing and were more than likely consumed by other humans while the sea-serpent was blamed for the neighbours' thefts. "Standing up like a Pillar" would mean as in the case of the Rotomahana mentioned in the passage above [And presumably also refers to the Physeter of antique maps]. In this case the dimensions would be doubled and the "Hair" a continuous backfin at about a foot or 18 inches high (Depending on the length of the ell as being used at the time-the ell is originally a cubit or 18 inches but several countries use the "Double ell" or yard as the standard and that would have been the "English Ell" at the time Olaus Magnus was originally writing. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ell ]
|Physeter, Heuvelmans calls a Longneck. |
Incidentally the large "Whale-eater" Marine Saurians are also reported to "Blow like a whale" when surfacing.
[It would seem that the largest "maned" sea serpents of tradition were of this type, and that the early Sea serpent reports commonly estimated as 100 to 500 feet and upwards were of this type. Heuvelmans does mention that some of the reports in his category were of this great length and it seems that the length could have been exaggerated because the animals were also seen around pods of whales and the estimates of length counted the whales along as part of the same body]