SEWARD, NE—Responding to complaints about an awful stench, local lifeguard Matt Frieze, 26, discovered what appeared to be the bloated body of a repulsive man-beast that had mysteriously washed up on the shore of the Dowding Municipal Pool Monday.
Frieze, who found the unidentified monstrosity sprawled out on the concrete at approximately 2:30 p.m., said he attempted to inspect the bizarre creature but was repelled by the sight of the putrid mass of flesh and hair.
"I've never seen anything like it before," said Frieze, adding that he first assumed it was just a pile of rotting sewage until he noticed its lower extremities were partially covered by what appeared to be a denim garment. "It looked like some kind of decomposing manatee with these horrible teeth and a face like…."
"Oh my God, I think I'm going to be sick," Frieze added.
While Frieze said he was surprised by how soft and squishy the behemoth was when he prodded it with a pool skimmer, he admitted that he was far more startled when the man-beast briefly stirred and produced a low, mournful gurgle. Immediately urging the crowd of curious onlookers to keep its distance, Frieze stood guard over the foul mistake of nature for some time, but the beast did not move again.
Although numerous observers claimed to have seen the gelatinous lump shift, emit an audible noise, and paw at a nearby can of soda, local resident Jake Millar, 39, remained convinced that the ungodly eye sore was either dead or dying.
"That noise is just gas being released from its rotting body," Millar said. "Did you see its slimy skin and chubby flipper arms? No way that thing can survive on land."
"They should call someone to come take care of the carcass," Millar added. "There's flies all over it."
After examining the prone man-beast, Millar said he was unable to find any discernable facial features he could use to identify it, since much of the "head" was obscured by a large pair of sunglasses.
A great deal of speculation continues to surround the strange, washed-up form. Kimberly Covington, a local mother of two, surmised that the creature might belong to a previously unknown species of prehistoric animal.
"We've probably never found anything like it before because the thing lives deep down in the ocean, where light never reaches," said Covington, adding that the creature seemed unaccustomed to the sun, as its pale skin was rapidly turning red. "I don't know why it crawled out here. Probably just to die."
Other eyewitnesses suggested a variety of theories about the nature of the grotesque colossus, including that it might be a deformed bear, an elephant fetus, a giant larvae, a genetic experiment gone terribly awry, an obese yeti, an enormous wad of wax, a piece of driftwood, or a decomposing basking shark carcass.
Biologists at the nearby University of Nebraska–Lincoln have scrutinized cell phone photos of the strange beast, but have made little progress in determining a biological classification for the organism.
"Unfortunately, this amorphous creature doesn't possess any distinguishable features other than several nonfunctioning appendages," marine biologist Dr. Gregory Tatum said. According to Tatum, it is unlikely the creature walked upright, as its bones would almost certainly splinter under such enormous girth. "It is quite probable that this mysterious, jelly-like animal has remained in this very position for most of its life."
Tatum said that he and his colleagues also considered the possibility that the man-beast might be a large aquatic mammal belonging to the order Cetacea, which would explain bystanders reports of the creature expelling short, labored breaths from an opening atop its body. However, he abandoned the theory because of the monstrosity's abundance of back hair.
"We do not understand the evolutionary advantage of having such a thick, coarse layer of fur covering the shoulders and extending up the neck," Tatum continued. "I doubt it has anything to do with mating rituals. This creature is obviously the only one of its kind and will never reproduce."