Professor Says Sea Monsters Were Most Likely Whale Penises In Viral Post

A molecular ecology professor has offered a fascinating explanation for the mythical stories of sea monster sightings in sailors' lore.

Professor Michael Sweet, who teaches at the University of Derby in Derby, England, shared his theory in a viral Twitter thread on April 8. "Back in the day, travelers/explorers would draw what they saw," he explained in a post with over 95,000 likes. "This is where many sea monster stories come from."

Sweet went on to explain that sailors glimpsed "tentacled and alienesque appendages emerging from the water" that led them to imagine a sinister creature lurking beneath the surface.

"However, many cases it was just whale dicks," he wrote.

Alongside the post, the professor shared pictures of erect blue whale penises and a famed alleged image of the Loch Ness Monster from 1934, known as the "surgeon's photograph" because the British surgeon who snapped it refused to have his name associated with the photo.

Sea Monsters Were Most Likely Whale Penises
A molecular ecology professor has explained that many sightings of "sea monsters" in sailors' lore were most likely sightings of whale penises. Here, a1934 photo that was believed to capture the Loch Ness Monster. The image was later exposed as a hoax. Keystone / Stringer/Hulton Archive

"Whales often mate in groups so while one male is busy with the female the other male just pops his dick out of the water while swimming around waiting his turn," Sweet added in a follow-up tweet. "Everyone's gotta have a bit of fun, right?"

Blue whales have the largest penis in the animal kingdom, ranging from 8 to 10 feet in length with a foot diameter, according to the Smithsonian Magazine. Each of the blue whale's testes alone can weigh up to 150 pounds.

Sweet clarified to Newsweek that the Loch Ness Monster "would not be one of the 'monsters' where they were actually whale penises, as you don't get whales in the loch." Loch Ness is a freshwater system. Sweet said the image of "Nessie," as the monster is affectionately known, was merely used to demonstrate how sailors described sea monsters in general.

Nonetheless, Nessie's existence has been widely debunked by the scientific community and the 1934 photo has been exposed as an elaborate hoax. In 1994, one of the men behind the image confessed to his part in staging it, according to the Museum of Hoaxes website.

Although the creature of Scottish legend cannot be attributed to whale genitalia, Sweet said that his theory still stood for other claimed sea monster sightings by tired, hungry sailors traveling the world.

Sweet's thread entertained thousands of readers.

"So those krakens that sailors drew were just 15 male whales waiting their turn?" asked a user who went by @JesseKenya.

"There was a hidden message in Moby Dick's name," quipped another with the username @sofistaserfista.