The Stronsay beast was a mysterious, decomposing corpse of a sea-creature that stranded at Stronsay, Orkney Islands, north of Scotland in 1808. The zoologists at Royal Museum in Edinburgh could not identify the snakelike animal, and they agreed that is must have been an unknown species of sea serpent that met its fate there. However, later the anatomist Sir Everard Home in London asked if he could get a sample of the evidence. After analysis of a couple of vertebra, he concluded that the Stronsay beast was just the remains of a very large basking shark. Many Scots protested in vain against this interpretation and in 1849 the Scottish professor Goodsir in Edinburgh also concluded that it was in fact just that large species of shark.

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