Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Lake Monsters

One of the most well-known categories of cryptids to the general public are the lake monsters. There is no good definition of a lake monster, but I will try my best to define them. Lake monsters are large aquatic cryptids that are sighted in lakes. The term 'lake monster' covers a very wide variety of different types of cryptids, so it's really not very possible to discuss all of them in one blog post. Therefore, in this post, I will only discuss some basic information about these creatures.

Lake monsters are reported from all over the world; reports have come from every continent other than Antarctica.

Without a doubt, the most famous lake monster in the world has got to be the Loch Ness Monster of Scotland. Strange animals have been sighted at Loch Ness for centuries. However, it was not until 1933 that these cryptids became very popular. In that year, there was a new road that was built right next to the loch. This may have been at least partially responsible for the dramatic increase in sightings that year.

Another famous lake monster is Champ of Lake Champlain in the United States. Native Americans living next to the lake have long had legends about a strange creature or 'dragon' living in the lake. The Abenaki called these creatures Tataskok. Sightings of these creatures increased greatly in the late 19th century. In 1873, it was even alleged that one of these creatures swam into a ship on the lake, nearly sinking it in the process.

According to the eyewitness descriptions and photos that have been taken of them, Nessie and Champ look very similar to each other. Although descriptions vary widely, most eyewitnesses describe a large, aquatic creature with a long neck and four flippers; in other words, a very plesiosaur-like animal. 
Numerous ideas and hypotheses have been developed over the years to attempt to explain these anomalous freshwater cryptids. Obviously, one of the most likely candidates at first glance appears to be a surviving plesiosaur. They match the body shape and anatomy very well, and are very reminiscent of some of the eyewitness descriptions and photographs.

Some other hypotheses include: a large amphibian, like a giant salamander; a giant, long-necked pinniped; and a giant eel.

However, despite all of the ideas that have been proposed, we still have no idea what these cryptids actually are. Hopefully, in the future, they will be discovered and scientifically-named. Then, we will finally have solved one of the greatest mysteries in the history of mankind: the mystery of the lake monsters. 


  1. Very nice article. I suspect that while a majority of sightings are likely misidentifications, some lake monsters may be giant fish and eels or an unknown species of pinniped. Keep up the good work.

    1. Yes, I too think that the vast majority of sightings are likely misidentifications. I also think it is very unlikely that breeding populations of these creatures live in the lakes. What I think is much more likely is that these creatures live in the oceans surrounding these lakes, and that a few individuals occasionally swim into the lakes. This would explain why there are lots of sightings in some years, and very few in other years.

      Also, if you look at the lakes where plesiosaur-shaped animals have been sighted, you will notice that the vast majority of them are located quite close to the coast, rather than very far inland.

      When it comes to the plesiosaur v. pinniped matter, though, I am pretty much on the fence. I first became interested in lake monsters last year, and back then, I pretty much thought they were long-necked pinnipeds, and seriously doubted the plesiosaur theory. However, I then read some blog posts on Dale Drinnon and Tyler Stone's blogs, which caused me to support the pinniped hypothesis a little less, and become a lot more open-minded about the plesiosaur.

      But then again, your comments on Facebook have now convinced me that the pinniped hypothesis actually is more likely, in some ways, than the plesiosaur hypothesis. Therefore, I am pretty much neutral on this matter, without a strong preference to any particular hypothesis, really.

    2. I also do agree with you that many lake monsters could be explained by gigantic fish or eels. In fact, several of them actually do sound like that, particularly the ones in Ireland and some ones in Canada.

    3. Yes, I agree that they are likely only temporary inhabitants of the lakes. I try to remain on the fence regarding plesiosaurs or Pinnipeds, as some excellent fellow researchers like Dale and Scott think they are plesiosaurs, but I tend to lean towards them being Pinnipeds (article on this soon). However, we do have to consider the possibility of the several other hypotheses like the basilosaurus, giant eel, and giant amphibian hypotheses.

  2. Hi, i'd like to know your opinion about " The Alvin Plesiosaur".

    1. Hi, sorry for the late reply! Well, I honestly don't have an opinion. The witness does seem very competent and reliable, so I guess it probably is a true story, and he is probably not lying. However, I am not sure if it is just a misidentification of a common animal or a genuine cryptid. And if it is a genuine cryptid, then I don't know if it is really a plesiosaur, or if it is something like a long-necked pinniped or a cryptid sea turtle instead.

      So I honestly don't have an opinion about this sighting in particular. Cheers!