Kudos are in order to the public relations company that "tipped" us earlier today about the supposed government-created mutant that washed up in Montauk, if for nothing other than its timing. The firm, described by its owner as a purveyor of "grassroots viral marketing," was wise to try and place a campaign than in the midst of the summer news doldrums. But neither Gawker nor Jezebel (original recipient of the tip) seem an appropriate place to plug a children's show, which a different tipster thinks is behind the Montauk picture.

Agreeing with us that the creature is almost certainly the product of viral marketing, the tipster pointed us to Cartoon Network's Cryptids Are Real, which has apparently been running targeted ads on GMail and which, as the rightmost pictures above show, has created similar monsters for its own website.

Oh also, the tipster works for Time Warner, so the person may be involved in a big marketing conspiracy, but doesn't work in TV UPDATE: but only as a freelancer and swears no one put him/her up to tipping us so maybe not. (The heat is making us paranoid!)

At the time of writing, our original Montauk monster post has more than 60,000 views in less than eight hours, and the Huffington Post has even given the monster a column, which is all probably as strong an indication as any that no one should be trying to work an office job anywhere this week. Take some vacation days or call in sick! The summer will be over before you know it! It's the cucumber season!

UPDATE2: Original tipster: "I can promise my firm is not part of a viral campaign, we just were fascinated with whatever that thing is and thought we would share."

And another (new!) tipster echoes one of our commenters: "Figured the monster out. It is a sea turtle without its shell - seriously. It is a blown up picture, for sure. Draw a shell on it, and you will see that I am right."

UPDATE3: The emerging consensus in the comments on the original item is that the creature is a dead dog, possibly with its paws tied together and possibly thrown into the ocean. Ugh. See comments from Snowden, forensic worker skiingtheK12 and others starting here or here.