According to Steller, the beast, simnia marina danica, stands at about six feet long with a head like a dog, including pointed ears and whiskers hanging down from the upper and lower lips. It also has a long, round, fat body, thick with hair the reddish complexion of a sunburned cow. Definitely not a looker, according to Steller, but also something you wouldn't easily miss. And yet not a single other person has managed to find a Steller's Sea Ape. Sounds like another made-up monster to join the ranks of marine cryptozoology, except everyone agrees that Steller was a reputable man of science who wouldn't ruin his reputation by inventing a lame cryptid. Surely Steller's Sea Ape had to exist. And they were right, except it wasn't a sea ape, but a sea man.
The Sea Ape is in fact Captain Vitus Bering. At least according to deep-sea ecologist Andrew Thaler. He says that Steller created the ape as a snarky workplace caricature of a much-hated boss. And the evidence stacks. In his diary, Steller's descriptions of Bering (who wasn't much beloved by his crew) are suspiciously similar to how he described the sideburns-rockin', angry-jowl-sportin' sea ape.
And Steller clearly disliked his sea ape as much as his captain, writing that he fantasized about shooting it several times. The sea ape was also the only creature in his notes that Steller did not officially log or mention in his reports, a big clue to its perceived scientific value. But perhaps most damning of all: Steller named his mustachioed menace simnia marina danica, or "the Danish Sea Ape." And Bering happened to be the only Dane on the ship's crew.
Christian Markle is still a mystery that people can't solve for decades. Go on and hit him up on Facebook
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