The Montauk Monster, or “Monty” (as he is sometimes referred to), is now a true star. It has starred in a commercial, been featured on a major cable network, and won an award. In fact, nothing saw a quicker rise to fame in 2008 other than Alaska Governor Sarah Palin. And many still do not know what to think of either of them.
When the Montauk Monster washed ashore in New York, it is doubtful that the bloated carcass had any aspirations of becoming world famous, winning awards, or starring on television. But that is exactly what the dead thing went and did.
The Montauk Monster became one of the most celebrated stories of 2008, saturating the internet with stories and blogs that speculated as to its very nature and from whence it had come. All from a couple of pictures. It made the 6 o’clock and the 11 o’clock news. It made the national news.
Pictures of the Montauk Monster were everywhere within days…
Although it was later determined by specialists to be the water-logged body of a large raccoon, the Montauk Monster entered the imaginations of millions around the world. A few thought the entire matter a hoax. For some, the strange-looking beast remained unexplained, a cryptid, the product of some secret government experiment or a denizen of the ocean heretofore undiscovered. For others, it was a grotesque but interesting diversion. The pictures and the animal quickly became part of modern lore and an accepting pop culture.
No matter what it was or what any one individual believed it to be, it became famous.
And then, according to Gawker, it appeared in a commercial for Volkswagen. A little smaller perhaps. A bit more fishy. But the “dog fish” featured in the Volkswagen commercials certainly may have evolved from the Montauk Monster pictures. Many bloggers certainly felt as much.
But Animal Planet showed “Monty” the respect the anomaly deserved. The cable channel devoted to glamorizing citizens of the animal kingdom named the Montauk Monster and the three women who discovered the beast (and took the original pictures) to their “Top 10 Animal Stories From 2008.” “Monty” came in fourth place. But the beast was in excellent company. It isn’t every day someone (or something) gets honored alongside television royalty (Oprah finished third with her story on puppy mills), a cross-species mother (a golden retriever that nursed tiger cubs), and a knight (a penguin received a knighthood – really).
Even with that accolade, the Montauk Monster’s shooting star had not completed its arc…
The Urlesque blog, a meme-culture blog owned by AOL, presented its first annual awards this year – the Urlies. The Montauk Monster photo won the first-ever “WTF of the Year” award.
And to think, back in July, “Monty” was originally thought of as some washed up unknown.
More Montauk Monster articles:
“New Monsters Everywhere: Montauk Monster, Honey Island Swamp Monster, Chupacabra”
“Bigfoot Pictures, Montauk Monster Pictures, Chupucabra Video: The Visually Unexplained”
“Montauk Monster Pictures Show Raccoon, Dog, Turtle… What?”
“Montauk Monster Predated by Moscow Monster”