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Sea Monster of the Indian and North Pacific 
Oceans.

Variant names: Trunko, Margate monster

Physical description: Length, 25–47 feet. Covered 
in thick, white fur. Tapering head like an 
elephant’s, 5 feet long. Trunklike appendage, 5 
feet long and 14 inches in diameter. Tail, 14 
feet long, beginning at the rib section.

Behavior: Fights with whales.

Distribution: The coasts of South Africa and 
Alaska.

Significant sightings: On November 1, 1922, 
Hugh Ballance saw two whales fighting with an 
unusual animal some 1,300 yards off the shore 
near Margate, KwaZulu-Natal Province, South 

Trunko

Trunko, as it was called, fighting with whales.


Africa. Through binoculars, it looked like a 
huge polar bear with a tail with which it struck 
the whales repeatedly. Crowds of people 
watched the battle for three hours until the 
monster was killed. The next night, the carcass 
washed ashore and lay on the beach for ten days. 
It had an elephant’s trunk and was covered in 
snow-white hair.

In November 1930, the carcass of a 25-foot 
animal with a long and tapering head washed up 
on Glacier Island, Alaska. W. J. McDonald, supervisor 
of the Chugach National Forest, and 
six others examined the body, which had very 
little flesh left on it. The widest part of the skeleton 
was 3 feet 2 inches. Its weight was estimated 
at 1,000 pounds.

Possible explanations: 
(1) A decomposing shark or whale, where 
the dried-out, fibrous connective tissue 
looks like white fur. 
(2) An unknown marine mammal, 
completely unlike anything else in the fossil 
record.

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