The Panama Monster Is Not a Monster

A few days ago, a new cryptozoological monster lurched out of a Panamanian cave and into all our hearts. He was naked and slimy and posed quite dramatically, as though he was playing cowboys and indians with his naked slimy friends and was just fake-shot-through-the-heart, spinning around and collapsing with his little tongue lolling out from his mouth. His name was Gollum or the Cerro Azul Monster or the Blue Stream Monster or the Blue Hill Horror or just Baron Von Slimy. There he is on the right, in his final moments.

slimyWhenever I see this picture, I make the sound one always makes when sticking out one’s tongue and feigning death: “Ehhhhhhhh.”

I waited a few days before posting about Baron Von Slimy because I was waiting for some clever biologist-type to post a tidy summary of what the poor fellow really was. Happily, thanks to Carl Zimmer’s Twitter feed, I found this post by Darren at Tetrapod Zoology in which he makes the case that the Baron is obviously a sloth who has lost most of his hair. (Not all his hair: you can see that he’s quite furry down below.)

So, that was fast—much faster than the now-solved mystery of the Montauk monster, which took a year for everyone to be sure that it was in fact a raccoon that was given a Viking funeral by some beach bums.

Speaking of none of that, here’s Kanye interrupting Charles Darwin. That is all.


Rebecca Watson

Rebecca leads a team of skeptical female activists at She travels around the world delivering entertaining talks on science, atheism, feminism, and skepticism. There is currently an asteroid orbiting the sun with her name on it. You can follow her every fascinating move on Twitter or on Google+.

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