Lake monster

Lake monster

Lake monster or loch monster is the name given to large unknown animals which have purportedly been sighted in, and/or are believed to dwell in freshwaters, although their existence has never been confirmed scientifically. Most of them have no evidence besides alleged sightings and controversial photographs and a large portion are generally believed not to exist by conventional zoology and allied sciences, and are principally the subject of investigations by followers of cryptozoology. Sightings are often similar to some sea monsters.

Of these, Nessie of Loch Ness is the most famous, and is heavily promoted in the area's tourist industry.


There are many speculations as to what the reported lake monsters could be. Many consider them to be purely exaggerations or misinterpretations of known and natural phenomena, or else fabrications and hoaxes. Misidentified sightings of seals, otters, deer, diving water birds, large fish such as giant sturgeons, logs, mirages, seiches, light distortion, crossing boat wakes, or unusual wave patterns have all been proposed to explain specific reports. Skeptics point out that descriptions of these creatures vary over time with the values and mood of the local cultures, following the pattern of folk beliefs and not what would be expected if the reports were of actual encounters with real animals.

According to the Swedish naturalist and author Bengt Sjögren (1980), the present day belief in lake-monsters in for example Loch Ness, is associated with the legends of kelpies. Sjögren claims that the accounts of lake-monsters have changed during history. Older reports often talk about horse-like appearances, but more modern reports often have more reptile and dinosaur-like-appearances, and Bengt Sjögren concludes that the legends of kelpies evolved into the present day legends of lake-monsters where the monsters changed the appearance since the discovery of dinosaurs and giant aquatic reptiles from the horse-like water-kelpie to a dinosaur-like reptile, often a plesiosaur.

Other widely varied theories have been presented by believers, including unknown species of giant freshwater eels or surviving aquatic, prehistoric reptiles, such as plesiosaurs. One theory holds that the monsters that are sighted are the occasional full-grown form of an amphibian species that generally stays juvenile all its life like the axolotl. A few have suggested the animals actually represent some sort of psychic phenomena. Some have also suggested a Tanystropheus, although there are very few supporters for this theory. More reasonably, the first true cryptozoologist Bernard Heuvelmans held throughout his life that plesiosaur-type sighting were actually an unknown species of long-necked seal.

In many of these areas, especially around Loch Ness, Lake Champlain and the Okanagan Valley, these lake monsters have become important tourist draws.

In popular culture

The X-Files episode Quagmire centers on an alleged lake monster named Big Blue, which is depicted in a painting as being similar in appearance to the Loch Ness Monster. The creature is only seen once, briefly, in the shadows at the end of the episode.

The Joe Citro novel, Dark Twilight, focuses upon Lake Champlain's lake monster Champ and supposes an extra-dimensional/demonic origin.

In Diana Gabaldon's series of novels about a time traveler from the 20th century to Scotland in the 1700s (popularly called the "Outlander" series), her main character Claire Randall briefly views a hump and a fin in the water of Loch Ness, and theorizes that the reason the creature appears so rarely is that there is a "time gate", similar to the one Claire herself traveled through, at the bottom of the loch. This gate would link modern Scotland with the Cretaceous Period.

In the Pokémon Franchise, many of the creatures (Lapras, for example) are greatly based on the popular image of lake monsters. Also, in the new video games, Pokémon Diamond and Pearl, in the three lakes of the new Sinnoh reigon, live one legendary Pokémon each. Uxie is Lake Acuity, Mesprit in Lake Verity, and Azelf, in Lake Valor.

It also appeared in a Horror movie "Beyond Loch Ness", which appeared on Sci-Fi channel.

Lake monster locations and names

References and External links

* "The Field Guide To Lake Monsters, Sea Serpents, and other mystery denizens of the deep", Loren Coleman and Patrick Huyghe, Illust. Harry Trumbore and Mark Lee Rollins, ISBN 1-58542-252-5
* [ The Global Lake Monster Database]
* [ Lake Monsters]
* [ Lake Monsters of North America]
* [ The Loch Ness Monster versus the Lake Michigan Monster]

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