The Sea Monster of Santa Cruz

Santa Cruz Moore's Beach MonsterThe carcass of a sea monster washed up on Moore’s Beach (now Natural Bridges State Beach) in Monterey Bay, California in 1925. The neck was described as being about 20 feet long. Some scientists postulated that it was an extremely rare type of beaked whale, while others believed it to be a variety of plesiosaur. After thoroughly examining the carcass, the renowned naturalist E. L. Wallace concluded that the creature could not be a whale and might be a plesiosaur that had been preserved and subsequently melted out of glacial ice.

Santa Cruz Moore's Beach Monster2The story of the sea monster is given in Randall Reinsted’s 1975 book which is entitled Shipwrecks and Sea Monsters. It is also prominently featured  in the Monterey CanyonNovember, 1989 issue of Skin Diver magazine which discusses the Monterey Submarine Canyon. This mysterious underwater trench extends many miles into the Pacific and is one of the least studied ocean chasms. But sonar readings have confirmed depths of up to 3,600 m (11,800 ft) below surface level, making it largest submarine canyon along the coast of North America. The depth and nutrient availability (due to the regular influx of nutrient-rich sediment) makes it a perfect habitat for a variety of deep sea organisms.