For years, tourists have been planning their travels around tales of otherworldly creatures, hoping to confirm with their own eyes what they’ve only heard about in rumors and urban legends:

Bigfoot in various mountain regions around the world, the Loch Ness monster in Scotland, UFOs in Roswell…

and now, the Montauk Monster.

Yes, that hideous looking creature in the photo above allegedly washed up earlier this week on the shores of Montauk, part of the ritzy Hamptons, Long Island summer retreat flocked to by New Yorkers.

There’s been all the usual speculation and controversy: Is the image photo-shopped? Is the photo part of a clever viral marketing campaign? Is the creature a lab experiment gone wrong?

My own opinion? Tourism everywhere is down and no one likes a crazy story more than New Yorkers. The Montauk Monster just might end up clogging the Long Island Expressway with gawking Hamptons-goers like the good old days.