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Monday, October 21, 2013

Myth or Monster Monday: The White River Monster

Hello, loves!

I've forgotten what a full night's sleep feels like. When my alarm went off this morning, I'd already been up four different times. Call me obsessive, but ever since SS got sick, I feel the overwhelming need to check on him every few hours just to make sure he's okay. He usually sleeps through my nightly checks, for which I'm infinitely grateful. I hate waking him up. No sense in both of us being cranky come morning.

Which I inevitably am. I hate mornings with a burning passion. I hate alarms. I hate getting out of bed. I hate getting dressed. I hate driving to work. The daily grind just irks me. So naturally, I wish Monday would just disappear forever. But since that's probably not going to happen anytime soon, I've decided to make this dreaded day of the week a little brighter by declaring it Myth or Monster Monday. On Mondays (when I can!), I'll post a myth or monster, and you guys get to participate too. Post your myth or monster of the week to your blog on Monday, then link it in the comments of the weekly post here, or email it for me to post for the rest of the Monday Hatin' Crew :)

Today's monster was prompted by something my dogs were watching on History Channel when I stopped at home for lunch. Yes, my dogs watch television. Don't judge. My eldest's health is failing, and she likes the t.v., so we let her watch it. She's the boss in this house.

Anyway! The show was about all those creatures that may or may not exist depending on who you ask. You know, Nessie, Big Foot, the Yeti, etc. This is one of those...

The White River Monster

Image of the submerging monster by Cloyce Warren, 1971.

I spent my teen years in a small town in Arkansas where sightings of the White River Monster originated. As the story goes, in the early 1900s, farmers in the area began to report sightings of a massive creature in and around the river.

It was reportedly three car lengths long, grey, with a bony protrusion from its forehead and smooth or peeling skin. The creature was spotted throughout the 1900s, and after a spate of sightings in the 1970s, the state legislator made it illegal to harm the mysterious monster unless it was trying to harm you first. Which makes me wonder how that ever became a concern. 

Theories on the actual identity of the creature range from a lost elephant seal to a mass of downed trees and branches, to something akin to Nessie. Having spent several years in the area, theres no telling what it actually was... but Jacksonville still proudly sports a sign declaring it the home of the White River Monster. And many of those in the area still believe the creature might have been Nessie's long lost kin.

Personally, I prefer the elephant seal theory. There is all kinds of stuff in that river. A lost elephant seal isn't too unbelievable. Nessie's kin, on the other hand, I'm not so sure about. :)


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