Skepticism

Skepchick Quickies 7.31

Amanda

Amanda is a science grad student in Boston whose favorite pastimes are having friendly debates and running amok.

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36 Comments

  1. Fake or real, I love unknown monsters that make sudden appearances.

    Of course, I also like it when they have been examined and classified, their habitats discovered, and their behavior in the wild documented.

    On a subject totally unrelated to a mysterious creature washing up on the shores of New England which may possibly be a marketing stunt, isn’t the next Cloverfield movie in production?

  2. The “monster” is a turtle without its shell. Seriously, the anatomy, including beak, scream turtle.

    Enough with this monster nonsense, it has gotten plenty of air-time as it is!

    I had George’s last HBO TV special downloaded around the time he passed away, so it was especially poignant to watch. I recommend the show to everyone! It is called “It’s Bad For Ya!”

  3. It’s not a turtle without a shell! It has teeth in its lower mandible which turtles don’t have, and turtles can’t just pop out of their shells. Their spines/ribs are actually part of their shell, so a turtle without a shell would just be a pile of limbs and organs. Also, it still has a few tufts of fur still stuck to it.

    my vote is a short muzzled dog breed like a boxer or pit bull.

    in other news, I’m glad my nalgene won’t make me die.

  4. Well I dunno what the hell it is then, but it’s gotta be something real – perhaps a genetic mutation of something real, which might be why it is dead. There can’t be just one specimen of a previously un-discovered species, it doesn’t work that way.

    And anyvainlegend is an anagram of my full name. What is an avianlegend when they’re at home?

  5. Oh Hai.

    Monster am hoax. Blow up the picture in PhotoShop and then look at the middle of its back and its teeth. Looks like somebody pasted the thing together. Not a bad job, but it looks like a manufactured image.

  6. “my mom’s secret recipe for meatloaf”

    * Remove skin.
    * Soak in brine for unspecified period.
    * Leave washed up on beach until tender.

    Wow, that really brings back memories of simpler times: home-cooked meals, secret family recipes, gastroenteritis…

  7. Yeah, it’s Photoshopped. The edge along the middle of the back as well as the teeth doesn’t match that right next to them. You can see the pixelation and use of an edge-blurring filter when the picture is blown up. At least I can.

    Another reason I think it’s faked is that I work in a molecular bio lab. When I find a fungus that I can’t identify morphologically, I extract and sequence some DNA and usually know what I’m looking at within 24 hours. I can then use a bit of phylogenetic software and tell what the thing is related to. Here’s a recent example.

    The first thing any biologist would do if there were a body like this to be found would be to do the same thing I do with unidentified mushrooms. It’s practically standard procedure with new species these days. If nobody has done that, and I don’t see anything in the article stating that anyone has so much as tried, then I seriously doubt that the thing actually exists. As it’s clearly dead and decaying in the photo (look ma, no lips!), even the sand it had been laying on could be used to yield enough DNA to at least say what sort of mammals it’s related to.

    I totally call shenanigans!

  8. I agree with Morisal. As a Biologist, I’d be in a lab sequencing the HELL out of the DNA. There is plenty there to work with. If it truly were something new, we would have heard news from evolutionary biologists trying to figure out what is the most closely related to. I work with phylogentic trees fairly often, and one of my favorite things to do is create new trees….yay for Evolutionary Biology!

    In other news, I’m also glad that a wormhole isn’t going to destroy my vacation. However, I do wish I could find one from Kansas to Virginia…so that I wouldn’t have to DRIVE for two days.

  9. I’m also glad that a wormhole isn’t going to destroy my vacation. However, I do wish I could find one from Kansas to Virginia…so that I wouldn’t have to DRIVE for two days.

    I thought Kansans had perfected travel by tornado decades ago.

  10. “Something about property damage suits from a society of midgets…”

    HEY! I’m only two inches taller than a midget! Ha…I need to find this society of midgets…does that mean that I need to follow a yellow brick road? I haven’t seen any since I’ve been in Kansas, but then again…I haven’t seen any tornadoes either. Makes me sad.

    …and a serious lack of rainbows as well.

  11. “since I’ve been in Kansas, but then again…I haven’t seen any tornadoes either. Makes me sad.

    …and a serious lack of rainbows as well.”

    Well, the Kansas rainbow industry was shut down as well.. But for altogether more disturbing reasons…

  12. One of my favourite conspiracy theories was something called the “Montauk Project”. I think it’s what finally got me skeptical because it was just so over the top ridiculous.

    For those not familiar, the government continued testing of the teleportation device created by the Philadelphia Experiment (another favourite weird science conspiracy theory) in a facility near Montauk. They eventually managed to travel to Mars and excavate the ruins of some ancient civilisation there. And the whole thing ended in a great big mess when, during one experiment, some massive Lovecraftian monster attempted to force its way through the portal created by the device. Of course, it was shut off at the last second and the world was fine.

    Good times.

    Oh, yeah, and my vote is also for a racoon. Animals look weird with no fur and missing bits of skin in random places.

  13. This sucks. Everyone I really want to meet dies. I can still remember when I found out Issac Asimov had died it was like a punch to the heart. Then Carl Sagan. I should stop wanting to meet people. I think I am killing them.

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