New York City Monument Immortalizes Fake Octopus Disaster
PHOTO: The moment a giant octopus takes down a ferry immortalized. (Photo courtesy Instagram/bikes_n_bourbon)
Battery Park in New York City was recently the sight of one fantastic yarn that captivated and perhaps even fooled some tourists.
The Associated Press reports on the monument erected for those who lost their lives on the steam ferry Cornelius G. Kolff at the tentacles of an octopus so massive that it could decimate a giant sea vessel.
Now, before you have a moment of silence for this ill-fated ferry, we might as well ruin the charade and tell you that there was never such a thing. Oh, there was a monument – presumably since taken down – but the tragedy of the very real ferry was pure fiction.
The AP explains: “The 250-pound monument, which depicts a Staten Island ferry being dragged down by giant octopus tentacles, is part of a multi-layered hoax that also includes a sophisticated website, a documentary, fabricated newspaper articles and glossy fliers directing tourists to a phantom Staten Island Ferry Disaster Memorial Museum across the harbor.”
The entire fabrication is the brainchild of Joseph Reginella. While many have stated on social media that it is now gone, it lives on thanks to the Internet.
It’s like Cthulhu rose from the depths to smite New York’s past seaworthy infrastructure.
It’s easy to take so much of what we see in our travels at face value. But, perhaps, it’s best if we approach things with a scant level of incredulity, which may be good advice for life in general.
In this case, Reginella was helping you out a bit, offering a tall tale as gigantic as any in the annals of science fiction.
The report states the story was born when Reginella was answering a list of questions from his nephew. He had fun with one of them and invented a story where an octopus drowned a ferry in the 60s.
From there, he had an idea to invent, as the AP quotes, “a multimedia art project and social experience - not maliciously - about how gullible people are.”
Some on Twitter have explained the statue is gone but the AP explains that the artist alternates its location so that it might have a bit longer livelihood before officials abscond with what is truly a local treasure and a reminder to never take a ferry in octopi-infested waters.
The mock monument maker explains: “It's definitely an experience when you see people who don't know about it. They get this strange look on their face, they stare out at the water and walk away. I sit close by with a fishing pole and fish. I eavesdrop on the conversations.”
Many are hesitant to believe this took place, but Reginella states that he will drop by and tell people the tragedy took place on the same day that President Kennedy was assassinated, thus being buried under significant national news.
We would love to hear if you do spot the monument erected to a moment that never happened, which we really hope one day finds a permanent home to mesmerize and confuse those who love a good story – regardless of its veracity.
More by Gabe Zaldivar
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