The Nondescript of Charles Waterton
Charles Waterton was a famous English eccentric and naturalist. In 1821, he returned to England from an expedition to Guiana, bringing with him hundreds of specimens of South American wildlife, carefully stuffed and preserved. His boat docked in Liverpool, and a customs inspectors named Mr. Lushington boarded. Lushington took one look at the exotic specimens that Waterton had piled up in crates and ordered that a hefty fee should be paid for their importation. Waterton protested. After all, the specimens were of greater scientific value than they were of commercial value. Nevertheless, Lushington would not bend. He insisted that Waterton pay the highest import tax possible.
Three years later Waterton travelled again to Guiana. Upon his return to England he bore with him this time the head of a fabulous specimen which he described as the 'Nondescript.' It looked very much like the head of a person, though the exposed face was surrounded by a thick coat of fur. Waterton claimed he had encountered and killed this man-like creature in the jungles of Guiana.