Scotland, yet again, proves to be the preferred resting place for mysterious sea beasts that have departed this world. While the most notorious case of bizarre fauna washing up on a Scottish shoreline is probably that of the 1954 CANVEY ISLAND MONSTERS, this notable (and by most accounts, incredibly malodorous) carcass was discovered in 1942, along the shores of Gourock, over looking the river Clyde.
A council officer by the name of Charles Rankin took it upon himself to take detailed notes concerning this beast. Measuring to a length of over 27-feet, this animal was described by Rankin in great detail. Its most notable features included a small, flattened head that tapered to a point with pronounced brow ridges situated over laterally slit eyes.
The creature’s jawbones were reportedly full of large, pointed teeth. The skull was nestled atop a long neck, which connected to a partially exposed spinal column. The animal’s torso still bore two pairs of what have been described as L-shaped flippers, which were smaller in the fore-potion, than the rear. The spine eventually tapered off into a long, rectangular tail.
According to Rankin, the creature’s skin harbored a multitude of 6-inch long, quill-like bristles and its appearance was reptilian in nature.This reptilian visage — along with the four flippers, sharp muzzle and broad tail — begs one to consider the possibility that this creature might be a relic marine reptile known as the mosasaur.
Any additional information regarding this intriguing animal was, unfortunately, interred not long after its discovery, as the carcass was hacked to pieces and buried in an undisclosed location.
Further disappointment awaits investigators as it turns out Rankin was denied the right to photograph the creature, owing to the fact that it happened to be beached on what was deemed to be a classified area. Being as Scotland — along with the rest of Europe and the better part of the world — was embroiled in the second word war; this breach of security was not permitted.
The war effort also consumed the time of many scientist who might otherwise have been predisposed to investigate this matter. As it stands, the Gourock Carcass must be chalked up to another case of a lost opportunity for science to further illuminate the incredible mysteries of our oceans.