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Florida seems to have gotten its very own alleged sea monster. It lives in the waters off Singer Island in the Lake Worth Lagoon, not far from the Riviera Beach Florida Power & Light plant.

An episode of the TV-show MonsterQuest was dedicated to the Floridian sea monster in April, after a video shot by Palm Beach Gardens resident Gene Sowerwine reached the TV-team. In the video, you can see a trident-shaped tail slapping the water and, in another image, an elongated snout breaking the surface.

As per usual, MonsterQuest didn’t succeed in identifying the animal. According to Florida Atlantic University professor Ed Petuch, the Singer Island sea monster could be a wayward arctic seal, e.g. a Hooded or Bearded seal. In 2006, two Hooded seals were found in this southerly part of the USA; one in Martin Country and the other 2 miles north of The Breakers hotel in Palm Beach. The year after that, a Bearded seal was caught in Fort Lauderdale.

If the Singer Island creature is an arctic seal, this is actually more frightening than any sea monster since it might be a sign of how far over fishing and/or global warming has forced these cold water species.

Nature is never constant, by law,” Petuch said. “The ice is melting, the surface waters are becoming more fresh water, and it’s driving them out of their normal ranges.”

Martine DeWit, associate research scientist with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, is leaning towards a less startling but equally sad explanation.

We know manatees can look like that when they get hit by a propeller,” DeWit said.