Florida’s Trident Tailed Sea Monster

By | April 28, 2009

seamonstertail1It has a large, somewhat mammalian head, clawed fins, and a trident-like tail…so they say of Florida’s sea monster, with sightings dating back to the 1800’s. There’s apparently more than one of these puppies, and they have the potential to move quickly with a lot of power. Hours of video footage exist by a guy named Sowerwine showing bits and pieces of the creature.

MonsterQuest went to an ocean-fed coastal lake in Florida to investigate such legends of a sea monster with a forked tail, but the lake was full of sediment, and the divers couldn’t see diddly. They did, however, have an intriguing sonar hit of something about 14 feet long moving quickly, although murky water conditions made it impossible to find the sucker.

One expert feels that the creature is a manatee, although the snout of the beast is skinnier and its eye and head structure appear different. Others feel that the animal is a seal of some kind following the Gulf Stream, possibly a Hooded seal or a Caribbean Monk seal, thought to be extinct.

– via Vulpesffb

The behavior is the same as mating manatees, but that’s not a manatee tail.

Update: According to the Underwater Times, this is a manatee with an injured tail:


Florida Fish and Wildlife biologists believe that the cold weather has helped to uncover a local mystery; the identity of the mysterious sea monster featured on the TV show MonsterQuest which airs on the History Channel.

As hundreds of manatees huddled to stay warm inside the channel of the Florida Power and Light Riviera Beach Power Plant, one of the gentle sea cows stood out due to a distinct feature of its anatomy.

Thought to have been injured by a boat propeller at some point in its life, the manatee’s tail grew back into three separate prongs.

Due to the unusual shape, the manatee leaves three separate wakes on the water’s surface while swimming just below.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission believes that this is the source of the sea creature shown during a segment last year on Monsterquest….

via under water times

62 thoughts on “Florida’s Trident Tailed Sea Monster

  1. carycomic

    Personally, I opt for Indo-Pacific dugongs who entered the Atlantic via the Suez Canal and the Mediterranean, trying to escape all the armed hostilities in Iraq and Somalia. Their tails are more dolphin-like than Floridian manatees. And, injuries from boat propellors and shark bites could more easily produce that remarkable trident shape (than it could in the flat, crescent-shaped tails of the native sea cows).

    1. Morgan Mixon

      I see your point about the propeller injuries or shark bites but when you look at most injuries like that they usually have a more ragged look to them. this looks like this is the sort of tail that the animal was born with. I’m not ruling out mutation but if you look at the old sea monster drawings you see a tail almost identical to that which we see here. An odd coincidence if it is just a mutation or injury

    2. Brave

      I would like to show a picture of this animal. it was drawn by a sailor in 1721. he swore he never would go out on the sea again after he saw this. It was described to have a minotaur like head with a marine type body reaching lengths of up to 60-65ft long with a smooth trident like tail. look at this i think this is the monster thats been here for thousands of years and there is only 1. They named them the Quinotaur and sailors nearly shat themselves after this guy was attacked by one. look it up. google images, Quinotaur

  2. ant

    The general shape and size of the creature seem very manatee like. I have two problems with the theory. 1, the general head shape of the creature does seem to be thinner and more elongated than a manatee. 2, the fins are too clean cut to be caused by a prop. especially the trident tail. the proportions are too perfect, the odds are astronomical that more than one specific animal could have the exact same fin wounds.

    1. Morgan Mixon

      plus like i was saying if you look at old drawings of sea monsters you see the exact same tail. now going back and examining other drawings you can see what animals they were seeing by the similarities. the odds that its just a mutation are astronomical

  3. Matthew

    I definitely do not think it is any kind of dugong. See how the tail of this creature it longer in the center than on the sides? That kind of shape would be impossible to make out of a dugong’s tail even with intentional and precise cutting. I also think that this creature is most likely a member the order sirenia but perhaps a new family. Ant is correct in that the odds of two creatures having exactly the same scarring patterns on their tail’s is astronomical, so seeing it in reality is amazing. But with all facts into account its one of two things. 1. 2 manatees with the same exact scar patterns that just so happened to resemble a trident like that of ancient see monsters depictions. Or 2. a new, elusive species of marine mammal that has either lived undiscovered for years, or has just recently emerged from earth’s art easel. I personally believe it to be a new creature.

    1. Brave

      This water-creature is nothing of that the human eye has ever seen. this is definitely a new species of either the sea-cow or a cross bred Beluga whale that just happened to have a gene splice and have a trident like tail but i highly doubt this. I strongly believe this animal is smarter then any other creature known to man and has lived for probably hundreds to thousands of years. Pirates from the 1800’s have drawn pictures and swear on there lives that they saw a 60 feet serpent leap out of the water and grab a sailor and eat him whole, ever since this event hardly anyone would sail the seas at this time. They nick named him Poseidon’s guardian. so would you go out in the sea if you heard of a giant serpent thats over 60ft long and eats whole ships for breakfast and was named Poseidon’s guardian?

  4. Zuelek

    Looks like a small whale or manatee with a torn tail, its common for idiots to be going to fast and hurt the manatees so, I wouldn’t doubt it being one, as for a sea dinosaur its far to high to the surface I would think with how the climate is different and such for it to be a dinosaur I would think those would be more closer to the sea floor.

  5. Bubba

    I think it’s my wife who’s been missing for several years. I threw her overboard one night and she must have mutated.

  6. Kevin O.

    This is a farce. This guy Sowerwine displays all the characteristics of the usual kook who has been in on a hoax. First he claims to have found an unusual water mamal or fish yet he does not tell an expert, hiding behind the ridiculous notion that “he doesn’t want the animal diturbed.” Real marine biologists taken to this thing when it is present would have revealed it to be one of two things: a manatee with propeller damage to its tail or it is a complete hoax like the Bigfoot carcass. This is most likely something Sowerwine and his confederates have created. The so-called fin seen in the video looks to be made of wood or some type of composite. When he swears a show like Monsterquest whose episodes are conveniently edited to secrecy, instead of bringing real scientists to the animal, all logic disappears. That tape need to be reviewed by experts to explain its poor edting of the hoax videos.

    1. n.l.

      How do u know that this a hoax? where u there when he made this so call hoax? no people u dont want to believe or to think that there is strange creature out the in the lakes and oceans make up excuses to relieve there fear and ignoracy.

      1. SheepODoom (@sheepodoom)

        He’s a Know it all skeptic who thinks everything to ever know is known & there is NOTHING new in the world man has not seen. his type have explored the universe from their mommy’s basement have dived the deepest depths with one breath & know that no life exists anywhere as they have been there. So to him we need to stop wasting money on Science & all we need do is ask HIM for his Expert in everything opinion and accept that as Science FACT. for he is a SkeptiTroll

  7. Mitchell

    I’ve worked with manatees quite a bit, and even when BADLY injured, their tail’s don’t have the sort of dexterity you see in this film. I don’t know what that is, but it is not a manatee.

  8. Dennis S. M. Todorovic

    The way this animal moves and looks is very similar to a small whale called a porpose or a dolphin and probably it is a new spiece. Or it could be prehistoric a hipo like animal that live in a simmilar aria 2.5 million years ago.

  9. Zach

    This film was taken somewhere in the vicinity of Munyon Island at John D. MacArthur State Park. I know this due to the fact that I kayak there about twice a week and live nearby. I have been visiting this area for many years and I believe that I know the area very well. At its deepest point at high-tide the water reaches about shoulder level. A monster would find a hard time to hide in this area due to the fact that hundreds of boats pass this point every day. The island was the home to a turn of the century hotel, and to this day tourists fish and kayak this area every day. While the water is extremely brackish and difficult to see through, the worst you may see in this area is a nurse shark. Nearby this area there is a Manatee zone sign warning boats of the possibility of manatees being nearby.

    1. Xeno Post author

      The tail looks different.

      Does anyone have any pictures or drawings of the tail of Monachus tropicalis (the caribbean monk seal) from before it went extinct?

      In the United States, the last recorded sighting of this marine mammal occurred in 1932 off the Texas coast. The very last reliable records of this species are of a small colony at Serranilla Bank between Honduras and Jamaica in 1952.[1]

      Unconfirmed sightings of Caribbean Monk Seals by local fishermen and divers are relatively common in Haiti and Jamaica, but two recent scientific expeditions failed to find any sign of this animal. It is possible that the mammal still exists, but some biologists strongly believe that the sightings are of wandering Hooded Seals, which have been positively identified on archipelagos such as Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. On April 22, 2009, The History Channel aired an episode of Monster Quest which hypothesized that an unidentified sea creature videotaped in the Intracoastal Waterway of Florida’s southeastern coast could possibly be the extinct Caribbean Monk Seal. No conclusive evidence has yet emerged in support of this contention, however, and opposing hypotheses asserted the creature was simply a misidentified, yet common to the area, West Indian Manatee. – wiki

  10. chris Mc

    I think it could actually be an elephant seal and not a monk seal like the cryptozoologist seems to believe. The elphant seal has much more striking similarities to the creature on the footage than the carribean monk seal. Elephant seals are ocean going mammals which means they migrate.

    1. SheepODoom (@sheepodoom)

      I was going to discount that however I did find a photo of an elephant seal that LOOKED like a trident HOWEVER the tail looked folded unlike this creature’s tail with looked like a solid pointed three prong tail. It’s possibe it COULD be a cross bred Manatee / Seal of some sort.

  11. matthew

    if you stupid people look at all the footage not just the crap from monsterquest you can tell its not a mantee, in one clip you can clearly see the body its very long and the head comes to a point. with large eyes it honestly looks like a basilisaurus or a descendent of it or possible a mosasaur,also this guy filmed two diffent animals you can see one of the animals looks completely different than another, the head shapes are different i believe we should interrigate this guy to get the location of the animals so we can find them and document them some more.

  12. matthew

    this animal is entirely new if it is a mantee its a complety new ancient species because the animals body looks like a manatee but more primitive has anyone looked for any info an ancient sireniens

  13. matthew

    i figured out what it is its probably a group of stellers sea cow their thought extict but it would explain the shape of the head and the tail stellers sea cows were not dea swimmers they liked to stay in shallow water and on the surface they were fairly large and long anybody agree with me, they used to live in coastal and island waters

  14. Ridiculous

    The tail is not torn. Tails torn by propellers often get sharper more angular cuts. That is not angular. Google image propeller torn tails they are all at sharp angles. Not only that there even appears to be separate muscle definition for each fan. Riddle me that.

      1. n.l.

        the photo of the manatee with the messed up tail LOOKS NOTHING LIKE THE TRIDENT TAIL OF THE OTHER CREATURE IN THE PHOTO!!! THE MANATEE TAIL WAS FAT AND THE SEGMENTS WAS thicker!!! get glasses

  15. MythFreak

    I don’t how it’s a manatee… I mean it swam so friggin fast! manatees… as far as i know, are not that fast. plus the head is too slim, eyes are too big, and the snout is different.

  16. William

    I saw the show on the History channel tonight and finely placed this thing or things I saw 3 years ago. I live and fish in Jupiter Florida and often fish the Jupiter inlet at night. I’m pretty well versed in the known land and marine animals from hobby self study. I say this in hopeing I don’t sound like a crack pot. I was fishing one night in the early spring bait run and around 3:30 am or so we spotted something in the water about 15 yards off the south side of the Jupiter inlet. I shined my mag light in the water and it first regestered in my head as a shark eating a turtle because of the fish like movement of the tail. Then it stuck it’s head out of the water and it was a huge seal like head.I could only regester it as 2 animals until the show. Since then I’ve been thinking about it and it acted like an animal that had eaten to much. Put that with the bait run and it would explain the floping about for ten min’s on the surface. It was about 12 or so feet long and around 4 and a half feet across the middle. We watched it go around the front of the south side rocks in to the inlet till we lost sight of it. Till tonight I could never place that animal.

  17. Kitty

    Looking at the video it shows that the creature has a blow hole. Watch more closely next time. The video shows a long body, a dorsal fin that is close to the back of the creature, a broad head, petorical fins, and the three part tail. The three part tail looks as if the top part is larger and the bottom two parts are smaller. All these descriptions of it tell me it is proably a freshwater gar or a sturgen. There is only one problem with this theroy. Nether the gar or the sturgen can move like the creture in the video. I guess some things are just suposed to be left as mystery.

  18. Zach M

    I am by no means an expert in marine biology, but this appears to be some type of seal hybrid. I don’t believe it to be an ancient mythical monster(though who am I to discount that), and I don’t believe it to be a manatee with a mutilated or mutated tail.

    1. Ridiculous

      Take a look again at your leopard seal. They do not have trident shaped tails. They have two awkwardly shaped fins and a short tail a common feature in seals. Is that really what’s going on here? What of the life history of leopard seals? What of their natural habitat? I suggest you google a better picture of a leopard seal tail as well. The lighting is also good enough to see the creature’s skin. Do you see any spots for which the leopard seal gets its name? Also fur?

  19. JP

    I think that the creature in question’s head is more interesting than it’s tail. Any animal genetically close to the manatee could have been injured by a boat. The creature was born with the unusual-looking head…for a manatee anyway.

  20. jojo

    ok. manatees the can’t hear the boats that come so that have BIG accidents! so they have large spiky fins (from propeller accidents). and when they are above water they
    the share breathing with eachother strange right? so the flap the fins and it looks like a huge sea monster but it is manatee.=]

  21. miguel

    I know that tail… its is a manatee that comes to my hosue every winter.. we live in a remote key in the Florida keys.. he or she is the biggest manatee I have ever seen, probably a male wiht a perfect trident tail. hes a monster . i have a 17 foot bats and he has come up beside it and hes at least 15 feet from tail to nose

  22. Melinda

    Please stop being so arrogant as to think we know every living creature in the sea better yet this whole planet. Animals sea and on land were here long before we were and will be here long after we are gone. Not to consider it could be a new creature that may have not been discovered yet or one that has survived even though it was labeled by man and its arrogance to be distict, is not scientific at all. No one can honestly believe that we know of all creatures that have lived and continue to live on this planet. I am not sure what it is but I did look at that manatee tail that was split and that of the creature in the video, and the tail in the video is way more precise in shape than that of the manatee tail so I know its not the same thing. Why would it be so hard to believe that something we have never known about existed? I know for a fact that no man has ever serached the sea and oceans of this planet in depth because its impossible. Just because you dont’t see something doesn’t make it unreal or non existent.

  23. Reginald

    I watched the MonsterQuest episode and happen to know quite a bit about marine mammals. Manatees are too slow to move as rapid as they do in the tape, the head is too thin, and how would and injury become quite as uniform and pointy as that? Sorry, but it’s gotta be something new, and I doubt it’s a seal. The blueish color of the skin is a little strange, but who knows? I think it’ll prove to be something we’ve never seen before.

  24. Really?

    Someone said it was a gar or a sturgeon… I don’t know about any of you but I didn’t see any scales. Unfortunately that same person said that one of the traits that led to the conclusion of one of these large fish species was that it had a blowhole… Fish don’t have blowholes. It wasn’t a blowhole anyway. It was a pair of mammalian nostrils.

    I have seen plenty of manatees. Thankfully I have been careful enough to avoid harming one with my boat but I have never seen or heard of a manatee moving that quickly.

    The head looks nothing like a manatee and the tail in the video doesn’t match up to the tail in the picture. I’ve also never seen a manatee have that much dexterity in it’s tail.

    I think the manatee theory is POSSIBLE but I don’t think it is likely. I think we are looking at something similar to a manatee. It just doesn’t match up to a manatee. There was more than one creature in the footage. Why didn’t ANY of the body parts we saw above the surface clearly resemble the manatee we think they are? We know there was more than one creature there. Surely SOMETHING that was seen above the water would have clearly been manatee if the “mutant” was hanging out in a group of its own species.

  25. Mark Zaskey

    I was the one in 2006 who originally examined Gene’s footage. He has hours of crystal clear, close up footage. I busted by ass to get this footage noticed. In the end, I worked a deal with nova south eastern university to fund an expedition to the area with gene and I. Gene wanted ten thousand dollars or he wouldn’t do it. So I dropped the whole thing. but know this…all of you, on the footage i personally reviewed a thousand times you can clearly see a big male, a smaller female and a calf, and all three of them possess the exact same three segmented tale. no rotary scaring whatsoever on any of the three. also, I would like to thank so many of the “noted cryptozoologists for their educated disbelief and particularly Loren Coleman for calling me a fraud and flat out saying I photoshoped the pictures and that they were blow-up pool toys that i dragged through the water. the only people who believed me and gene were the real biologists that reviewed the footage that obviously was withheld on monsterquest, for reasons unknown. Bitter? yeah, i would say so. after a years work helping to bring validation the moron shows the public the wrong footage and convinces know one that in reality, in his possession is all the proof science would need to Identify a new species of marine mammal.

    1. pablo g

      so what exactly would you say it is?relative of the sea/manatee family?
      at first i thought it was a seal like many, but after a while i noticed that the ‘side fins’ extrude from the lower body
      that trident tail is fish like, but from the video you can see that it exhales (mammalian)

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  27. Galloway

    I was skeptical of the manatee explanation when I first saw the videos on Monster Quest, but if you compare the tail at :57 with the photo below, they match. Manatee.

    1. Mark

      I have seen all of the video, many many times and in the presence of the head of the department of seal biology here in Florida at NOVA southeastern. They were once willing to fully fund an expedition for the unknown on the footage, however Sourwine wanted money, so it all went south and all my hard work with the university and “ED” the scientist who incidentally knew immediately when he saw the male the female and the calf, that all displayed the same morphology in their tales, WE had an unknown on OUR hands. Sorry skeptics and knowitalls, this one is a real unknown and until you’ve atleast viewed all the footage for yourself, listen to someone who has, They are real.

      1. Tara Stitle

        Mark, someone in the above comments listed exactly where Gene filmed these creatures. Couldn’t you resurrect the research expedition and go hunting your own footage? I think it’s a discovery of a lifetime!!!

  28. Keith

    This footage is amazing and I would love to see the additional video or stills that NOVA viewed and thought credible enough to potentially fund an expedition. Anyone experienced or familiar with Manatee / Seal biology and traits would know that nobody can say with certainty that it is either.

    However the manatee / seal deduction is the only that makes sense to close-minded skeptics. If the segmented tails were caused by propeller damage then there would be more irregular edges, scar tissue, and noticable slice marks as can be seen on many pictures of “sliced” up manatees. If they were seals than it should be almost instantly recognizable just from comparing their behavior of which there should be more than adequate research to prove this hypothesis.

    I believe that this is potentially a new species that may be related closely to Sirenia or some extant or cousin species. The key to discovering the truth I believe lies in its behavior and discovering their main food source, habitat and home range. I find it completely plausible that an unknown species could thrive in mangrove ecosystems where the water is relatively shallow, WARM, and the vegetation can provide adequate cover to keep this unknown species hidden in areas that are hard for man to traverse. Perhaps this species uses these area as a breeding / “nesting” safe haven habitat where, if related to Sirenia, may eat vegetation or fruit fallen into the water or they venture out to hunt for fish in the deeper waters and then return to the shallows for safety. Who’s to say they don’t have some sort of “bladder” that is filled with air to aide in bouyoncy, which can then be “exhaled” to reduce size, buoyancy, and increase agility / speed and movement in the deeper or shallow water allowing them to swim under vegetation or through seemingly impassable areas for a mammal of this size. If a relative of Sirenia then this species living in brackish water also is plausible. Unfortunately monster quest is not a credible source being public media / entertainment but I believe that the footage absolutely appears to show an unknown species. Hopefully NOVA or some credible source will release more footage of information, as I have been intrigued ever since this aired. But people who have no background in mammalogy and just google seal / manatee picks either healthy or damaged by propellers doesn’t make you any kind of expert. No 2 propeller collisions would ever be exactly identical, a slice mark could be the same but the precision cutting of a tail to a trident in the same fashion wouldn’t happen. Many biologists ID specific manatees by their cuts or slices from propellers because they are UNIQUE identifiers.

  29. Mark

    Crypto Reality will be undertaking a full investigation into this along with interested Academics.

  30. Brett Allen

    Recent images of the unidentified sea creature washed up in Aberdeen Scotland July 2011, shows an obvious trident tail, and proves it to be a match for those filmed in Fla, as well as being a very real, previously unidentified species. Likewise, in Villaricos, Spain, Aug 2013, a horned sea creature was again found washed up and was gain, dismissed by scientists. It was a perfect match for the ‘mythical’ Naga. Both images were carried in the Daily Mail
    Brett Allen – Cover UFO Magazine 2009

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