Sarah Craven was visiting Scarborough with her family last weekend when her son excitedly sounded the inexplicable sea reptile alarm.
“We took the boys up for a walk on the cliff top when we saw some dolphins jumping in the background,” she told the Harrogate Advertiser.
“Suddenly, my son shouted ‘crocodiles!’ We all looked down and there in front of me were what I thought were two large crocodiles.”
Of course, you can’t make outlandish claims of Yorkshire coast croc sightings without evidence, so Sarah whipped out her camera.
“We moved further along the cliff to get a closer look and I started to take pictures and videos,” she recalled.
“If a closer look is taken you can see the back legs swimming. I saw both front legs and back legs with long pointy tails swishing behind, the skin looked bumpy like crocodile or alligator skin.
“We then noticed a smaller one in between the large ones.”
So, what do you reckon it was? A trio of sea crocs? Scarborough gators? Scarborough seals? A pack of otters? Or perhaps just some animal-shaped litter?
Well, while we will probably never know what it was, we do know what it almost definitely wasn’t – crocodiles.
Angela Julian, Co-ordinator at Amphibian and Reptile Groups UK, said: “It is extremely unlikely that she has spotted actual living crocodiles in the North Sea – lovely as the idea sounds.
“Generally they are a tropical riverine or lake taxa and we definitely don’t have any native. Therefore the possibilities are either that they have been dumped in which case they will not survive for long, or they are plastic ones – which often happens. They could be other marine creatures including walrus or turtles, or floating debris.”
Damn, that’s a shame. Doesn’t quite have the same ring to it – ‘We went on the most amazing family holiday to Scarborough and on a stunning coastal walk we spotted some floating debris in the sea.’
Still, Sarah said she ‘fully believes’ it was three crocodiles – and she was there – so I’ll let you make your own minds up.