To prep for an upcoming trip to Firenze, I've been dipping into Jacob Burckhardt's The Civilization of the Renaissance in Italy. (It's my favorite 19th-century book-length essay on 16th Century Europe -- what's yours?) Burckhardt has a tendency to allude to pertinent facts in the most oblique way possible, and so I am forced to visit Wikipedia to fill in the gaps in my knowledge. That's how I ended up Googling Pope Alexander VI (motto: "There's no conclusive proof that I personally poisoned anyone"), which led me to the entry for his successor, Pius III (motto: "At least I'm not Cesare Borgia!"). And that's how I got to the bottom of the summer's biggest mystery. We can all stop freaking out, because the Montauk Monster -- follow that link for a photo, on the off chance the image is not yet seared into your mind -- is not an unidentified mutant in an advanced stage of decomposition, but in fact the relatively well-preserved corpse of His Holiness Pope Pius III.