It's a m-m-m-monster!
So apparently, this is what I do on my day off – search the internet for useless information. In my travels today I came across some news articles about monster myths, specifically sea monsters. Generally speaking I’m not a “monster” girl, I like to think about nice things. But as I was reading through I was struck by the way that these writers are minimizing things and creatures that are really spectacular.
In this article we find that just last month a huge sea creature washed up on shore down in South Carolina. I mean, it’s huge! But don’t worry, it’s not a monster because scientists have identified it as the known fish species sturgeon. That makes me feel better about swimming in the ocean with a species of fish that can grow 10-15 feet long and weigh upwards of 300-800 lbs. just on average. There are even reports of weighing more than 4,000 lbs.
I guess what tweaked me a little was that the article then went on to talk about other sea creature sightings and how they can all be explained away. For example: “Other normal fish besides the sturgeon have been mistaken for monsters, including oarfish and gar.” I would like to put the question forth, what is our definition of “normal” and what can we safely call a “monster”?
This oarfish they speak of…
…will on average grow to over 35 feet and the longest one on record was over 55 feet. That’s feet, not inches. Feet. Don’t lie, if one of these puppies brushed up against your leg in the ocean, you would never go near the beach again. Never. That’s what I call a monster.
The last fish that the article mentioned was the gar…
…which are known to grow over 10 feet long and weigh over 300 lbs. But the most notable feature of this little fishy are it’s rows of very very sharp teeth.
A notable mention…
…a “giant catfish”. In my opinion, anything with the term “giant” in it’s official name qualifies as monster material.
So I guess this is the point I’m trying to make here: is the simple fact that we as human have named and categorized something mean that it is no longer monstrous? It’s the thought that if we’ve seen it before and can rationally explain it’s existence we are once again superior. My definition of a monster: anything that can eat me.
Don’t get me wrong, I believe that there are many wonderful uses for science and it’s ability to help us understand the wonder of the world we live in, but one of the sad bi-products of some science is the minimizing of God’s amazing creative abilities and the maximizing of our limited human intellect. We know we’re in trouble when our first response is, “Oh that? It’s just a…”
I think it’s a good thing to believe in monsters, because the simple fact that we have scientific names for these massive creatures does little to take away from their monstrosity, at least in my book.
Ps. A little parting treat for you… But don’t worry, it’s just a giant stingray.