Trunko is the nickname for a reputed animal reportedly sighted in Margate, South Africa on October 25, 1924, according to an article entitled "Fish Like A Polar Bear" published in the December 27, 1924 edition of London's Daily Mail. The animal was reputedly first seen off the coast battling two whales which fought the unusual creature for three hours. It used its tail to attack the whales and reportedly lifted itself out of the water by about 20 feet. One of the witnesses, Hugh Ballance, described the animal as looking like a "giant polar bear" during a final fight.

The creature reputedly washed up on Margate Beach but despite being there for 10 days, no scientist ever investigated the carcass while it was beached so no reliable description has been published, and no photographs of it have ever been published. Some people who have never been identified were reported to have described the animal as possessing snowy-white fur, an elephantine trunk, a lobster-like tail, and a carcass devoid of blood.

The animal has been claimed to be 47 feet long, 10 feet wide, and 5 feet high, with the trunk's length being 5 feet, the trunk's diameter 14 inches, the tail 10 feet, and the fur being 8 inches long. The trunk was said to be attached directly to the animal's body, as no head was visible on the carcass. For this feature, the animal was dubbed Trunko.

In the March 27, 1925 edition of the Charleroi Mail, in Charleroi, Pennsylvania, an article entitled "Whales Slain By Hairy Monster" reported that whales there were killed by a strange creature which was washed up on a beach exhausted and fell unconscious, but made its way back into the ocean and swam away after 10 days.


Many suggestions have been made to explain this phenomenon, the most common explanation being that Trunko was a large whale whose decaying body made it appear furry. The protruding bones in the tail would have appeared like a segmented lobster's tail, and the acconts of it "fighting" might have simply been the agressiveness of the two orcas pulling the carcase appart. Other suggestions include aliens, a hitherto unknown species, and an escaped mutant, created in a lab, an albino elephant seal, or fraud. It is generally considered to be a cryptid, part of the controversial, pseudocientific field of cryptozoology, or hoax. .

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