Sea monster reported North of Australia

On this day …….. 18th September 1876

Reports have abounded of sightings of sea monsters for thousands of years. Usually such sightings involve only a small number of witnesses. However, occasionally such creatures have been seen by large numbers of people. On 18 September 1876, the ‘Straits Times Overland Journal’ ran an editorial, reporting on an unusual sea creature which had been seen by a Captain and his shipload of passengers one week earlier. The “monster” was seen in the Malacca Straits, which link the Indian and Pacific Oceans between the Malay Peninsula and the Indonesian island of Sumatra. In his log, John W Webster, Captain of the SS Nestor, described the creatures as having a body which was “quite fifty feet broad” and its total length “over two hundred feet”. Its head “was about twelve feet broad and appeared … about six feet above the water.” It had a “long dragon tail with black and white scales”. The monster continued its course alongside the ship, taking no note of either ship or occupants, who were entertained by its presence for about half an hour.