A Real Florida Sea Monster

My family and I love going on Florida vacations. Several of us are avid anglers, so we spend a lot of time on the beaches and piers, trying to lure some flounder, trout, shark, or other finned opponent onto our hooks. We’ve caught some strange critters over the years, but nothing we’ve ever landed could compare with the real sea monster we saw several years ago.

My husband, Johnny, and I were spending a few days at Fernandina Beach, on Amelia Island. We almost always stay at the Amelia-By-the-Sea oceanfront condos, largely because of their private fishing pier. On this particular fishing trip, we hadn’t had much luck on the pier after a couple of days, and we were getting pretty antsy. When someone told us the specks (spotted seatrout) were biting behind the fort, we decided to drive the mile or so to check it out.

The “fort” referred to is Fort Clinch, as in Ft. Clinch State Park. We had camped and fished there many times in the past, so we were familiar with the area. On one side of the park is the Atlantic Ocean, on another is the Cumberland Sound, and on another is the Amelia River – all bodies of salt water.

We parked at the river and decided to fish there for a little while as we waited for high tide. When the tide rose, we walked to the fort with our fishing paraphernalia. It was a trek that took us across high dunes, giving us a great view of the river. As we trudged through the sandy footing, I was looking at the river when I saw something that has never been explained.

There was a large patch of kelp or some other vegetation floating on the water, and writhing through it was some large snake-like creature. I alerted Johnny, and he saw it, too. We made our way down to the beach in the hopes of getting a closer look.

The strip of sand was fairly crowded that day, and everyone there was watching this “sea monster.” Johnny ran to the jeep to get his binoculars, which gave us a much better view of the strange creature.

This thing was huge! It must have been 18-24-inches thick. Its skin was dark brown or black, with lighter bars or stripes. We never did see its head – all we saw were it coils as it slithered through the seaweed.

An old timer standing near us said he lived on the island, and he explained that whenever they dredged the AmeliaRiver, they often got unusual creatures there from other areas. From other areas? Like from where – the Amazon or Jurassic Park? All I could think of were anacondas, but I was pretty sure that even they didn’t get this big. Judging by this creature’s coils and girth, it had to be close to 75 feet in length.

Before long, a park ranger showed up. He had heard about the excitement and wanted to check it out for himself. He’d spent his whole life on Amelia Island and had been a ranger at the fort for years, but he told us he’d never seen anything like this before. We all watched in amazement for probably fifteen minutes before the sea monster disappeared. Everyone stood around for a while, waiting for the sea serpent to reappear, but it never did.

Of course, as soon as I got home, I began researching anacondas, snakes, and herpetology and cryptozoology sites. I learned that the largest anaconda on record is 28 feet. Whatever we saw was much longer. Some cryptozoologist reports include sightings made by reputable individuals who described specimens they’d seen at much longer lengths – some over 75 feet long.

Was our sea monster a giant anaconda? I don’t think so. How could an anaconda make its way from the Amazon to Florida? And anacondas have spots – not stripes. But what other explanation is there? I’m just glad that Johnny and I weren’t the only ones who saw the sea monster! There were at least 50 people who shared our unusual experience that day. Too bad we didn't have a herpetology expert with us at the time - if, indeed, our sea serpent was an actual snake.

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Comments 36 comments

drbj profile image

drbj 6 years ago from south Florida

Funny experience, habee. Now with the devastating oil spill, all of us who live near the ocean will probably see some more amazing creatures like your sea serpent. And they will be ANGRY!

ralwus 6 years ago

twilight zone . . .dee dee dee dee LOL

sheila b. profile image

sheila b. 6 years ago

Fascinating mystery. And I hope drbj is wrong about some angry critters showing up...

Artisina profile image

Artisina 6 years ago from Sacramento

That experience is too cool. Wish I would have been there. I personally think there a lot of creatures in the ocean that no one has encountered yet. The way things are going with the oil spill and the pollution of our oceans, I also am expecting to be hearing or seeing all kinds of new creatures surfacing. Thanks for a great read.

Woody 6 years ago

this reminded me about the time a friend of my was in the water, down in fla., when a manatee brushed up her. i think she got out of the water, like, real fast!!!

samboiam profile image

samboiam 6 years ago from Texas

This didn't happen after having some....um... shall we say, herbal therapy, or perhaps some mushroom juice?

I am just joking with you. That must have been a sight to see.

Hello, hello, profile image

Hello, hello, 6 years ago from London, UK

That was fascinating. Thank you for sharing. I am sure there are many animals there which inexplitable. I hope they never find and capture them.

akirchner profile image

akirchner 6 years ago from Central Oregon

I think you were having some of that herb to keep you awake...now you've done it again though - I will be thinking of anacondas all day long and I'll almost bet you, I'll have a nightmare about a giant snake tonight! Uggh - I would have passed out on the spot and given the dang thing lunch I imagine....Bob would have been LONG gone - running for help would have been the excuse he gave....oy vey....ewwwww - I'm having an attack! If I can't write my hubs today - it's on you, Spanky!!!

habee profile image

habee 6 years ago from Georgia Author

OOOO, drbj - I hadn't thought about the ANGRY part! Yikes!

habee profile image

habee 6 years ago from Georgia Author

charlie, what's brown and flies through space? do do do do...sung to the theme from Twilight Zone! lol

Veronica Allen profile image

Veronica Allen 6 years ago from Georgia

How awesome - a little scary, but awesome. I am a huge fan of the show "River Monsters", and I am a firm beleiver that there are so many river creatures out there that mankind has not discovered just yet.

Totally Tiffany profile image

Totally Tiffany 6 years ago from Henderson


ralwus 6 years ago

I took my two little neighbor boys fishing this morning, their first time. Each one got a catfish, they thought they had monsters. LOL They refused to touch them, each was almost a foot long. Good first time experience for them.

habee profile image

habee 6 years ago from Georgia Author

I hope she's wrong, too, Sheila!

habee profile image

habee 6 years ago from Georgia Author

Artisina, it was really neat!

habee profile image

habee 6 years ago from Georgia Author

Woody, your friend turned that into a story. How'd you miss it??

habee profile image

habee 6 years ago from Georgia Author

No, Sam - I have witnesses!

habee profile image

habee 6 years ago from Georgia Author

I hope not, too, HH!

habee profile image

habee 6 years ago from Georgia Author

Buckie, we totally enjoyed the experience. It was far enough away that I wasn't afraid.

habee profile image

habee 6 years ago from Georgia Author

V, I love River Monsters!

habee profile image

habee 6 years ago from Georgia Author

Thanks for visiting, Tiffany!

habee profile image

habee 6 years ago from Georgia Author

Charlie, what a nice thing to do!

Lady Guinevere profile image

Lady Guinevere 6 years ago from West By God

I am a fan of River Monsters too and they have some really BIG creatures down in the waters. That's why I won't step foot in a body of water that I can't see the bottom. I told someone about creatures living after Noah's Ark some time ago and they said there wasn't any animal or fish that could stand salt and fresh water. Not true. There are several fishes that can live in both salt and fresh water. One is the Bull Shark and they are HUGE and they do attack humans and will jump out of the water to get them.

We will see more strange creatures in the coming years and yes they will be angry because we have taken their food source from them. There may be even more stranger ones that will adapt to the oil in the water and who knows what they will be like. We don't even know what is in our waters now. We are also finding out that all the old sailor storries from way way back about monster are true. There is a GIANT Octopus and also the GIANT Squid.

habee profile image

habee 6 years ago from Georgia Author

True, Lady! Scientist used to think the giant squid was just a myth!

nancy_30 profile image

nancy_30 6 years ago from Georgia

That was a great story. I would have loved to have seen it. I love mysterious things.

habee profile image

habee 6 years ago from Georgia Author

So do I, Nancy!

stunnercold profile image

stunnercold 6 years ago from Dubai

Great article on cryptids habee, I certainly enjoyed it.

I recently wrote an article on sea monsters, and the thing is they all are real creatures recently discovered near the Australian coasts. I think you'l enjoy it.


habee profile image

habee 6 years ago from Georgia Author

Thanks, Stunner. I'll check it out!

Brandon Extor 6 years ago

It's a leapord seal. I just wanted to let you all know, that a leapord seal has been moving around in there scaring residents. There is a lot of controversy calling it a, " florida sea monster ". It is a leapord seal, and leapord seals are EXTREMELY dangerous. They can go on land! And they are human killers.

habee profile image

habee 6 years ago from Georgia Author

Hi, Brandon. I've seen clips of the leopard seals, but this wasn't one. This thing was very long and snake-like. Thanks for reading!

tyler 4 years ago

I have seen the the snake like creature back in 1998 at south jax beach. I saw it today 5/26/12, Guana . I was out surfing both times and it really has to be huge.The movement is that of a snake and I have been tryingt to find out what it is all these years.

ABTS 4 years ago

We have a condo at ABTS. We love visiting the Fort. Haven't seen the sea monster yet, but will be ever vigilant!

habee profile image

habee 3 years ago from Georgia Author

Tyler, do you have any idea what the sea monster really is?

habee profile image

habee 3 years ago from Georgia Author

ABTS, we haven't seen it again, either. Wish we'd had our camera with us - but I'm not sure if it would have doon a good job of capturing what we were seeing.

Jennica 24 months ago

My hat is off to your astute command over this tocbp-iravo!

Joyce 24 months ago

Dag nabbit good stuff you whpsserpnapierp!

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