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 is a writer, speaker, YouTube personality, and unrepentant science nerd. In addition to founding and continuing to run Skepchick, she hosts Quiz-o-Tron, a monthly science-themed quiz show and podcast that pits comedians against nerds. There is an asteroid named in her honor.

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  1. So does anyone know why the sloth lost its hair? Is this a typical aging thing in other mammal species, too? Or is it a symptom of some specific disease?

  2. It’s obviously a Warwolf who was intent on draining the life force of at least one of the teenagers and wearing his or her skin. Those kids may have saved us from an interdimensional catastrophe.

  3. It’s obviously a Naked Albino Cave Sloth. Its fellow naked albino cave sloths must have driven it out into the deadly sunlight when it started sprouting hair down below.

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