Saint Augustine Monster
Saint Augustine Monster
Monster
Photograph of the Monster being hauled inland.
Type Threat Level
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Active Status Other Names
blank.png Octopus giganteus, Florida Monster, St. Augustine Giant Octopus. An early example of “Blobbies”

Description:

If you're looking for something to hunt and catch and brag about, this isn't your day.

The St. Augustine Monster. A gigantic mound of rubbery flesh, washed up on the beach in 1896. Gone for a hundred years, why is it worth writing about? You know, honestly, this is my city now. If I'm going to be operating out of here, there's room for the dead to be remembered. Even if the dead is a gigantic octopus.

That night, between stranding itself on the shore again, people heard something. Wasn't in the 'official record' but there were some letters to the editor. In the St. Augustine Record. It might be a fish rag, but even fish rags can be useful if you're trying to wrap up dead guts and dead ends.

It was a song.


Background

It was the kids that found it first, out early on their way to school maybe. Or on vacation, heading to the beach before the tourists got there and made the sand stink of sunscreen and burnt snowbird. Her body was so heavy and dense that it sank halfway into the beach sand before they stumbled on it. Dead weight.

My personal theory though, is that it wasn't dead. Least not at first. Back in '64 when Dora blew through the historical society lost a lot of records. But I did my homework. It didn't wash up ashore once. After one beaching, she swam back out. I've decided she's a she. I've got no evidence for that, but it's how I prefer the story. Moving on.

She was one of the first “Blobbies” to wash ashore in North America. Those blobs of unknown flesh that wash up in California or Virginia every few years. Sometimes they're whale guts. Sometimes, they're not.


Location and Population:

Blobbies have been reported washing up on numerous coastlines since 1896, although none have been the same creature as the St. Augustine Monster. But it's not unique.

I know there were at least two of them.


Hunting or Procurement Methods:

There's scuba divers in town, a little community. Got places to rent out the equipment and everything. I saved up a little bit of cash, cleaning houses and doing laundry, enough for an envelope full of money to be exchanged for a little underwater photography.

Didn't exactly give them the rundown of what I was looking for, but they found it. A cave, in the seawall far past the beach. The pictures they brought back made me wish octopus' could have bones. Evidence. Something to remember him by. This was where they made a home, before that century got stolen from them.

I know that the bits were part of him. The diver didn't agree with me. Said it was sand, or debris. But what does a Norman know?


Encounter Records:

This isn't a mystery. It's a love story. Maybe they had a fight. Maybe the current swept her away. I know enough that I ain't going to find my way into an octopus' head. When I left my first husband, for the first time, it was when he raised a hand against me. Didn't have the guts to leave for good. Not until he did it again to my daughter. That was it.

Maybe that happened here. Hits her, she left, tried to let it all go. Current won't let her back. Comes back and he's a mess. Maybe he hits her again. Squeezes those coils around her tight until her own tentacles are in tatters.

I hope not. I hope they were happy. At least for a moment. She wasn't coming back from that beaching. Accidents do happen. The sea brought her back, for a moment, so she could say goodbye.

He waited for a long time.

I went out there a few night ago. My guesstimate for the anniversary. It was like that glowing plant stuff, floating on the water like skim on custard. But it was jellyfish, tons of them. Just wriggling and pulsing and glowing. But only for a second. Just for a second.

Long enough that I could hear that song, too. I can't remember the tune, but it was good. It was enough. Worthy of whatever it was they had.

Darlene Wuornos, Society Contributor

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