This gargantuan, twin tusked carcass created a tremendous stir when it washed up an Egyptian beach in 1950, and it remains one of the most controversial oceanic mysteries to this day.
The Ataka animal has provided us with one of the most fascinating images in the annals of cryptozoology. The now famous photograph showing a colossal beached animal with two gigantic tusks — set against a backdrop of curious spectators — has intrigued both scientists and crypto-investigators alike for over half a century.
The story of this mysterious carcass begins in January of 1950, following a horrific 72 hour gale, which ravaged the banks of the Gulf of Suez. On the day following the epic storm, Egyptian authorities discovered a humongous carcass decomposing on the beach. Almost immediately a team of scientists were dispatched to reveal the creature’s identity.
Described as being “whale-like” in size, probably the most intriguing aspect of this beast – from a zoological standpoint — were its two, huge, walrus-like tusks, which protruded from either side of its large mouth. The animal also seemed to have blow hole atop its head, similar in structure to that of more traditional cetaceans.
This has led some researchers to speculate that the animal may have been an unknown species of marine mammal. Some accounts even include eyewitness reports of a large, whale-like creature swimming in the gulf just ten days before the remains washed ashore.
Although experts of the era could not positively identify this animal, it is common practice among modern skeptics to dismiss the creature as nothing more than a deteriorating whale corpse with its lower jaw bones splayed, creating the illusion of tusks. However, there are those who believe that this beast is truly unknown creature and state that when one looks at the additional evidence found in the photo, one might be forced to reevaluate the assumptions of the academic mainstream.
The supporters of this “unknown creature” theory have stated that it seems both foolish and arrogant to assume that amateur (or professional) marine biologists can ascertain from a single, grainy, black and white photo what top Egyptian scientists were not able to while studying samples of the carcass in question; namely that the Ataka specimen is nothing more than a slightly decayed example of a common whale with its baleen exposed.
They further state that when researching this case one must take into consideration the other identifying factors detailed in the photograph, such as the animal’s apparent lack of eyes and the row of cilia like appendages circling its maw.
These and other unseen attributes are what likely led those initial scientists away from the more socially acceptable verdict that this creature was just an ordinary whale and forced them to the conclusion that — at least by current zoological standards — the animal in question was simply unidentifiable.
In the decades which have followed in the wake of the controversy stirred by the Ataka Carcass, numerous other remains have been discovered bearing uncannily similar traits. Finds such as Mexico’s TECOLUTA SEA MONSTER, the SUWARROW ISLAND DEVILFISH and the recent discovery known as the MENTIGI MONSTER have all fueled the flames of this ongoing debate.