Three hundred years have passed since Dubrovnik was rocked by a horrific occurrence. A terrifying human-like creature arose from the sea in front of the city, one day around noon, in the beginning of 1716. What strange force summoned it from the deep blue sea of Adriatic, we shall never know, but it terrorized the populace of Dubrovnik for the three long days.
The first day the monster surfaced, it stayed on the land for three hours wandering around the shore. The surviving witnesses testified that the creature was a giant, more than 11 feet high, a freak of nature with a grotesquely huge head on its shoulders. This sea ogre would raise its clawed hands high in the air and growl so horribly that its screams could be heard up to two miles away. People were utterly terrified by the abominable creature, some that saw it died of sheer fright, while others were so shocked by it that they lost their ability to speak.
The monstrous merman returned for two more days, each time reappearing at another location on the coast. After a week, strange fire signs colored the sky above the old Ragusa, followed by the dreadful land tremors, leaving a great sense of fear in the local population.
The monster never came back again, but the story of it quickly spread around Europe by the sailors. The English chronicles Flying Post thus brought an article about it already in February, 1716. It inspired English poet Alexander Pope who wrote satirical ballad “The Monster of Ragusa”.