Sep 22, 2009
A mysterious photograph has become the subject of wild internet speculation after a group of teenagers claimed it was a terrifying creature that they beat to death while playing near a cave in Panama.
The images were posted on the web – and instantly drew comparisons with the ‘Montauk Monster’, a still-unidentified creature that washed up on a Long Island, New York, beach last year.
The creature had a strange hairless, leathery body with sharp teeth. Appearing on U.S gossip website Gawker under the headline ‘Dead Monster Washes Ashore in Montauk’, the story was picked up by media networks across the world.
Commentators identified it variously as a dead dog, an abandoned film prop, and some kind of bizarre marketing stunt – but its remains have never been found.
Internet users are already speculating on what the creature found in Panama may be. The presence of a hooked claw has led some to suggest it may be a sloth that somehow lost its hair.
The Telemetro website said some speculation had suggested it was a creature from another planet.
The rubbery beast was said to have been spotted by a group of teenagers crawling out of a cave as they played in the town of Cerro Azul north of Panama City on Saturday.
To their horror, they claimed it came towards them. Fearing for their safety, they beat it to death with sticks, throwing its body in a pool of water, they told Panama’s Telemetro television station.
Later they apparently worked up the courage to return and take photographs of the bizarre creature.