Montauk Monstergate

It was pretty scary when three people went missing and four died in tides off New York's coastline earlier this week.

It was also scary when n umerous shark sightings were reported off Long Island's beaches.

But this whole monster-washes-up-on-shore-in-Montauk situation... we have no words for how scary this is.

Fox News, however, has a few . And so does Animal Planet's Jeff Corwin. Who thinks it's "a racoon. Or maybe a dog." Local residents also give their two cents (rather eloquently) .

Carnivorous alien creature? U.S. Department of Agriculture animal experiment gone awry? Turtle? You decide:

UPDATE: New photos posted of the monster make it look a little more like a dog than we'd originally thought. (Thanks Diana) But we're still not discounting the escaped mutant government experiment theory.