Monday, July 16, 2007

1.31 - The Lagoon Creature

MONKEY ISLAND, APRIL 1986 - Every exotic location has its mysteries, its legends, its folklore and myths. Scotland has the Loch Ness monster, the American Northwest has Sasquatch, the pine barrens of central New Jersey are the reputed home of the Jersey Devil. And Westport, Connecticut, of course, has Martha Stewart. All unique to their areas, although the Sasquatch and Martha have been sighted as 'Bigfoot' in many other locations.

Monkey Island is no exception, since being a strange and unusual place is one of its attractions. If it wasn't, none of us would be here. (Although some of us are here as a result of probation requirements.) And like Loch Ness, we have a famous aquatic creature that shows up on occasion.

The Monkey Island lagoon is a rather dreary place, one that seems to be sheathed in a perpetual fog, regardless of the outside weather. Dampness permeates the air to a degree beyond mere humidity: A visitor is soaked to the skin within minutes of arrival. This is a place listed in few guidebooks, and even the locals try to avoid it when they can. But the Lagoon Creature, for lack of a better name, draws its share of curiosity seekers.

Like 'Nessie', our creature is elusive, and, as a result, has never been photographed very well. In fact, the creature moves so fast that it's hard to tell just what kind of animal it is. Photographs are largely inconclusive, the thing darts about so quickly that no one has been able to capture a sharp image, and the inhospitable conditions of the area render most cameras unusable after only a few minutes. The pictures that have been made are universally bad, especially since they are taken mostly by over-excited amateurs using cheap disposables. The only really good pictures are the ones that have been faked.

And since the hoax pictures are the ones most commonly seen in tourist brochures, we instead present here one of the better of the many true pictures made over the years. It shows the creatures entire body, and is one of the few that document its ability to fly. However, the overall blurring of the image still leaves questions lingering as to the identity of the beast. Guesses have ranged from a mutant swan to the headpiece of the Flying Nun.

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