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Real Mythical Giant Sea Serpent Monsters Encounter Stories

Giant sea serpent

In July 1897, the French gunboat Avalanche, patrolling northern Ha Long Bay, Tonkin (now Vietnam), attempted to kill what appeared to be two "ocean snakes", real mythical giant sea serpent monsters.

The monsters are surfacing!

Revealed in the March 5, 1898 issue of The Haiphong Courier, Lieutenant (Navy) Lagrésille and his crew's encounter with real sea serpent monsters began in July 1897 during a patrol off Ha Long Bay. If the officer's testimony is to be believed, two animals about 20 meters long and 2 to 3 meters in diameter suddenly appear on the surface of the water and move undulating vertically. Immediately, Lagrésille had one of the guns on board armed. But the shot is slightly too short and the two frightened animals dive "while blowing noisily and leaving on the surface an eddy similar to that of breakers". Some witnesses have time to note the small size of their heads.

In pursuit of the mythical sea serpents ...

But the story does not end there. On February 15, 1898, while the Avalanche crossed Fai Tsi Long Bay, north of Ha Long Bay, two beasts similar to those of the first encounter loomed over the sea. This time, Lagrésille had his crew chased them. At 300 or 400 meters from the target, the revolver guns thunder and at least two hits are recorded on one of the animals; apparently none hurt him. One of the sea serpent monster, however, disappears into the depths and the Avalanche tries to ram the other, but the animal is too fast. The gunboat then pursues it among the islets of Fai Tsi Long. The hunt lasts an hour and a half, during which the sailors observe the animal at leisure. Its size is around 30 meters, its skin is gray and smooth, its fins are black and each of its emersions is preceded by a jet of water vapor from the violence of its breathing. When it dives, you can follow its trail thanks to the eddies of 4 to 5 meters in diameter caused by its vertical undulations. Its head resembles that of a seal, but it is twice the size, and jagged shapes follow the line of its back.

A second chance

On February 26, 1898, Lagrésille invited on board Captain Joannet and nine officers from the battleship Bayard who had made fun of him about this story the day before at a reception. During the midday meal, when the gunboat is again in the bay of Fai Tsi Long, a sailor comes to tell them that two "sea serpents" are in sight. The Avalanche chases one of the beasts for 35 minutes and Lagrésille and his guests see it clearly about 200 meters away. Two officers have a camera: by the time it is armed, the animal is already too far away for them to hope to take a clear snapshot.

Back on board the Bayard, Commander Joannet informed Admiral de La Bédollière, who had Governor General Paul Doumer, future President of the Republic, telegraphed to inform him of the sighting and of his intention to organize a "beat" with gunboats and steamboats to try to capture one of the animals. But border incidents with China prevent him from carrying out his plan: sea snakes, once again, take their secret to the bottom of the water …

Monsters galore, across the seas ...

Since ancient times, sailors have faced the "sea serpent" over and over again. But most of the encounters up to the 16th century lack precision.

In 1876, the British steamer Nestor saw in the Strait of Malacca a monster of a staggering length of about 65 meters whose cylindrical tail alone would be 45 meters ... Such figures suggest that the crew has, in fact, saw an adult and her cubs swimming behind each other.

On July 30, 1915, the German submarine U-28 sank the British steamer Iberia. The boat explodes between 10 and 200 meters deep and, with the debris being thrown into the air, a sort of gigantic sea crocodile about twenty meters long is ejected and falls back, struggling in the water.

On December 30, 1947, the American liner Santa Clara struck, off the coast of North Carolina, an eel-shaped animal about fifteen meters long, which sank after struggling for a moment in a large puddle of blood.

In October 1969, the pocket submarine Alvin came face to face, off Bermuda and 270 meters deep, with a large animal sporting a reptile head, long neck and fins. The beast disappears before it can even be filmed.

On April 10, 1977, the Japanese trawler Zuiyo Maru hauled up a monstrous body of more than 10 meters, not far from New Zealand. It smells so badly that the captain has it thrown back into the sea. The photographs show a long-necked, long-tailed animal resembling a plesiosaur. Recent research, however, has suggested that despite appearances the corpse may have been that of an ordinary white shark ...