List of Water Cryptids

Origins & Lore

Altama-ha

 

 

IGeorgia folklore, the Altamaha-ha or Altie is a legendary creature, alleged to inhabit the myriad of small streams and abandoned rice fields near the mouth of the Altamaha River in southeastern GeorgiaUnited States. Sightings are particularly reported around Darien and elsewhere in McIntosh County.

According to The Brunswick News, the legend has its roots in Muscogee tradition. An alligator gar has been proposed as being a possible identity for recent sightings attributed to the creature.

In 2018 decomposing remains were found on a beach in the Wolf Island National Wildlife Refuge causing speculation that it may be the body of an Altamaha-ha; however, performance artist Zardulu later claimed responsibility for the remains, which were created out of a stuffed shark and paper mache.

 

Bear Lake Monster

 

In 1868, an article in the Deseret News announced that “The Indians have a tradition concerning a strange, serpent-like creature inhabiting the waters of Bear Lake…. Now, it seems this water devil, as the Indians called it, has again made an appearance. A number of our white settlers declare they have seen it with their own eyes. This Bear Lake Monster, they now call it, is causing a great deal of excitement up here” and then the author, Joseph C. Rich, went on to relate several sightings of the creature in recent times. The article created a stir in Salt Lake City.

Leaders of the Church of Latter-Day Saints took an interest in the monster. When they visited the area on preaching tours, they took the opportunity to speak firsthand with the residents of the region. They stated that they had a "conversation" with brother Charles C. Rich and other brethren from Bear Lake Valley. They declared that the testimony that had been given “by so many individuals, who have seen these creatures in so many places and under a variety of circumstances” that the locals considered the story to be truthful. The Deseret News continued to publish articles about the Monster while other local newspapers turned to attack the stories of a water devil. The Salt Lake Tribune even went as far as to quip that the Monster was “twin brother to the devil and cousin to Brigham Young."

Articles about the Bear Lake Monster continued to appear over the next several years, telling of new sightings of the Bear Lake Monster or similar creatures in other rivers and lakes in the Utah Territory. Some articles called the sightings into question. The number of alleged appearances of lake monsters all across northern Utah caused some people to speculate that there was an underground channel connecting the Great Salt Lake and other waterways to Bear Lake. Interest was so high, that at one point the LDS Church president Brigham Young decided to investigate the claims to find out whether the story was “an honest tale of a serpent or only a fish story." He went as far as sending a large rope to Paris, Idaho to aid in capturing the monster. One local resident proposed using a large baited hook attached to a twenty-foot cable and three hundred yards of one-inch rope, at the end of which was a to be a large buoy with a flagstaff inserted and an anchor to keep it in a perpendicular position. From the buoy one hundred yards of three-quarter-inch rope was to be extended to a tree onshore. When captured, it was hoped that the monster could be exploited for its wondrous proportions in the show business.

 A 1907 letter published in a Logan, Utah newspaper claimed that two men had seen the Bear Lake behemoth attack their camp and kill one of their horses, a four-year-old claimed to see it in 1937, and a Boy Scout leader spoke of seeing it in 1946. The last reported sighting of the monster was in June 2002, when Bear Lake business owner Brian Hirschi claims to have seen the monster.

The monster has become a part of local folklore, partly due to sporadic sightings and partly as a joke. For years a Bear Lake Monster Boat—a tourist boat-shaped to look like a green lake monster—offered a 45-minute scenic cruise of Bear Lake with folklore storytelling. Another self-parody that the locals have done is to fill afloat in the Garden City, Utah Raspberry Days parade with local children, and label it “The Real Bear Lake Monsters.” 

Bessie

In Michigan folklore, Bessie is a name given to a lake monster in Lake Erie, also known as South Bay Bessie. The first recorded sighting of Bessie occurred in 1793, and more sightings have occurred intermittently and in greater frequency in the last three decades. Bessie is reported to be snake-like and 30 to 40 ft long, at least a foot in diameter, with a grayish color.

While shooting at ducks, north of Sandusky, Ohio, in 1793, the captain of the sloop Felicity startled a large creature described as "more than a rod or 16 1/2 feet in length"

In July 1817, the crew of a schooner reported a 30 to 40 ft long serpent, dark in color.

Later that year, another boat crew spotted a similar animal, this time copper-colored and 60 feet in length. This time, they shot at it with muskets, which had no visible effect.

A third 1817 incident took place near Toledo, when French settlers, two brothers named Dusseau, encountered a huge monster on the beach, writhing in what they took to be its "death throes". The brothers described it as between 20 and 30 feet in length and shaped like a large sturgeon, except that it had arms. The panicked brothers fled the scene, and when they returned later, the creature had disappeared, presumably carried off by waves after its death. All that was left of its presence were marks on the beach and a number of silver scales about the size of silver dollars.

An extraordinary sighting which was carried by local newspapers took place by the entire crew of a ship bound from Buffalo, New York, to Toledo, Ohio, in July 1892. The crew, including the captain, saw a large area of water about 0.5 miles ahead of them churned up and foaming. As they approached they saw "a huge sea serpent" that appeared to be "wrestling about in the waters as if fighting with an unseen foe." They observed as the creature relaxed and stretched out full length, estimated at 50 feet long and 4 feet in circumference, with its head sticking up above the water an additional 4 feet. The brownish creature's eyes were described as "viciously sparkling" and large fins were also noted.

Crystal Beach near Fort Erie was the scene of another sighting on May 5, 1896. This time there were four eyewitnesses who watched for 45 minutes as a 30-foot long creature with a dog-shaped head and pointy tail churned up the water as it swam about until finally disappearing before nightfall.

There were some sightings of the alleged monster in 1969, the 1980s, and in 1993. Local marina owner Thomas Solberg offered a reward of $5,000 "for anyone who captures South Bay Bessie alive".

Brosno Dragon

 

The Brosno Dragon, which is also known as Brosnya, is a creature that has been sighted in Lake Brosno, West Russia.

Lake Brosno, the purported home of the Brosno Dragon, is located in the Tver region of Russia. It is surrounded by abandoned villages and crumbling houses.

 

The lake itself is fairly deep,47 yards, there is a sunken church on one side, near an island. The difficulty in conducting underwater archaeological digs means that it has so far proved impossible to date the building and anyone who may have known about the church is now long gone.

The sightings of this mythical creature date back to the 13th Century. It was said to have attacked and scared to death a group of Tatar-Mongol horsemen who were launching an attack on Russia. Legend has gone on ever since, with each new generation passing on the tale and adding their own sightings and stories.

One legend describes only that an enormous mouth opened in the lake to swallow fishermen and their boat whole. Another legend is of a group of Varangians or Vikings who wanted to hide plundered gold and treasure in the lake. While they were getting ready to hide their gold and treasures,  the dragon emerged from the lake and swallowed the island whole.

By the 19th Century, the sightings have become less imaginative, and instead of swallowing entire boats or islands, the Brosno Dragon was described as surfacing in the evenings but submerging if people approached it. In the 1940s Brosnya returned briefly to swallow an entire German airplane.

Local people to the lake still say the Brosno Dragon is responsible for capsizing boats. They have also blamed it for several mysterious disappearances of people. The newspaper Karavan + Ya, local to the region of Lake Brosno, often reports on the legend and visits the lake hoping to capture the elusive creature on camera to share with the rest of the world.

The Brosno Dragon earned its nickname as it has been described as looking like a dragon in legends for hundreds of years. Today, it is likely the dragon would be described as a dinosaur. Those who believe Brosnya does exist and really does dwell in the depths of Lake Brosno have theorized the dragon is actually a living dinosaur. People who are more skeptical about the existence of the creature have attributed the hundreds of sightings over the years to a variety of alternatives. One suggestion is that the creature is not a dinosaur or a dragon, but a mutant beaver. Another suggestion is that it is a huge and very old fish, which is abnormally large due to its age.

 

People who are skeptical about the creature believe the Brosno Dragon is a mutant fish or animal.  Some people think the dragon could be an unidentified species, and others think it is an unusual or malformed example of a more mundane animal, there is one other option – that it is not an animal at all, but the result of a natural phenomenon.

The same issues which have made an underwater archaeological excavation at the lake impossible because although it is known there are fractures at the bottom of the lake, their exact depth and dimensions are unknown. There are some who believe one of the fractures hide a volcano, and if this is the case it could explain a lot of the legends of the Brosno Dragon.

A specific volcanic eruption that happens in bodies of water called a limnic eruption, would release a cloud of deadly gas from the lake which could kill animals and people. The bubbling water may be misattributed to an unfamiliar creature below the surface and seeing any unsuspecting fishermen or invading Mongol armies succumb to the fumes and disappear under the water could easily have been attributed to a monster before phenomena such as this were understood.​ It has also been suggested that the Brosno Dragon is nothing more than a mirage

In the summer of 2002 scientists from the Kosmopoisk research association attempted to find out the truth behind the legend of the Brosno Dragon. The team conducted echo deep sounding and found that there was indeed an anomaly in the lake – a jelly-like mass about the size of a railway cart that hovered around 5.5 yards from the bottom of the lake. However, further attempts to identify the mass proved unsuccessful.

 

Bunyip

The bunyip is a large mythical creature from Australian Aboriginal mythology, that is said to lurk in swampsbillabongscreeks, riverbeds, and waterholes.

 

The bunyip was part of traditional Aboriginal beliefs and stories throughout Australia, while its name varied according to tribal nomenclature. The writer Robert Holden,  identified at least nine regional variations of the creature known as the bunyip across Aboriginal Australia. The origin of the word bunyip has been traced to the Wemba-Wemba or Wergaia language of the Aboriginal people of Victoria, in South-Eastern Australia. Europeans have recorded various written accounts of bunyips in the early and mid-19th century.

The word bunyip is usually translated by Aboriginal Australians today as "devil" or "evil spirit".This translation may not accurately represent the role of the bunyip in pre-contact Aboriginal mythology or its possible origins before written accounts were made. Some modern sources allude to a linguistic connection between the bunyip and Bunjil, "a mythic 'Great Man' who made the mountains and rivers and man and all the animals." The word bunyip first appeared in the Sydney Gazette in 1812. It was used by James Ives to describe "a large black animal like a seal, with a terrible voice which creates terror among the blacks."

 

Descriptions of bunyips vary widely. George French Angus may have collected a description of a bunyip in his account of a "water spirit" from the Moorundi people of the Murray River before 1847, stating it is "much dreaded by them ... It inhabits the Murray; but ... they have some difficulty describing it. Its most usual form ... is said to be that of an enormous starfish." The Challicum bunyip, an outline image of a bunyip carved by Aborigines into the bank of Fiery Creek, near Ararat, Victoria, was first recorded by The Australasian newspaper in 1851. According to the report, the bunyip had been speared after killing an Aboriginal man. Antiquarian Reynell Johns claimed that until the mid-1850s, Aboriginal people made a "habit of visiting the place annually and retracing the outlines of the figure of the bunyip which is about 11 pages long and 4 paces in extreme breadth." The outline image no longer exists. Robert Brough Smyth's Aborigines of Victoria, in 1878, devoted ten pages to the bunyip, but concluded: "in truth little is known among the blacks respecting its form, covering or habits; they appear to have been in such dread of it as to have been unable to take note of its characteristics."

Cadborosaurus

Nicknamed Caddy, is a sea serpent in the folklore of regions of the Pacific Coast of North America. Its name is derived from Cadboro Bay in Greater VictoriaBritish Columbia, and the Greek root word "saurus" meaning lizard or reptile.

Cadborosaurus willsi is said by witnesses to resemble a serpent with vertical coils or humps in tandem behind the horse-like head and long neck, with a pair of small elevating front flippers, and either a pair of hind flippers or a pair of large webbed hind flippers fused to form a large fan-like tail region that provides powerful forward propulsion.

native image that fits Caddy's description has been traditionally used throughout Alaska. The image indicates that Caddy or a Caddy-like creature moves north to Vancouver when the waters warm. The Inuit of Alaska has even put the picture on their canoes to keep the creature away. The Cadborosaurus is called hiyitl'iik by the Manhousat people who live on Sydney Inlet, t'chain-ko in Sechelt mythology, and numkse lee kwala by the Comox band of Vancouver Island.

There have been more than 300 claimed sightings during the past 200 years, including Deep Cove in Saanich Inlet, and Island View Beach, both like Cadboro Bay also on the Saanich Peninsula, also British Columbia, and also at San Francisco Bay, California.

In 2009, fisherman Kelly Nash purportedly filmed several minutes of footage featuring ten to fifteen creatures in Nushagak Bay. In 2011, a very short segment of the footage was shown on the Discovery TV show Hilstranded, where the Hilstrand brothers apparently saw Nash's footage and unsuccessfully attempted to find one of the creatures.

 

 

Champ

 

 

IIn American folklore, Champ or Champy is the name of a lake monster said to live in Lake Champlain, a 125-mile long body of freshwater shared by New York and Vermont, with a portion extending into Quebec, Canada. The legend of the monster is considered a draw for tourism in the Burlington, Vermont and Plattsburgh, New York areas.

 

Over the years, there have been over 300 reported sightings of Champ.

French cartographer Samuel de Champlain is often claimed to be the first European to have sighted Champ, in 1609.  Champlain documented large fish:

There is also a great abundance of fish, of many varieties: among others, one called by the savages of the country Chaoufarou, "which varies in length, the largest being, as the people told me, eight or ten feet long. I saw some five feet long, which were as large as my thigh; the head is as big as my two fists, with a snout two feet and half long, and a double row of very sharp and dangerous teeth. Its body is, in shape, very much like that of a pike; but it is armed with scales so strong and a poniard could not pierce them. Its color is silver-gray.

The 1878 translation of his journals clarifies that Chaoufaou refers to gar, specifically Lepisosteus osseus.

 

Chessie

IAmerican folklore, Chessie is a sea monster said to live in the midst of the Chesapeake Bay. Over the years there have been many alleged sightings of a serpent-like creature with flippers as part of its body. Most sighting reports describe it as a long, snake-like creature, from 25 feet to 40 feet long. It is said to swim using its body as a sine curve moving through the water. There was a rash of sightings in 1977 and more in the 1980s, with occasional reports since then.

Although there are alleged photographs of Chessie, there is no genuine evidence of its existence. Speculation to explain sightings has included a "mutant eel" theory, large river otters, prehistoric Zeuglodons, and South American anacondas escaping from 18th- and 19th-century sailing ships. One report of the monster has been identified as a visiting manatee.

The earliest reported sighting of a Chessie-like creature may have been from a military helicopter flying over the Bush River in 1936. "Something reptilian and unknown in the water" was observed by the helicopter's crew.

According to Matt Lake in Weird Maryland, two perch fishermen, Francis Klarrman and Edward J. Ward, spotted something in the water near Baltimore in 1943:

"This thing was about 75 yards away, at right angles from our boat. At first, it looked like something floating on the water. It was black and the part of it that was out of the water seemed about 12 feet long. It has a head about as big as a football and shaped somewhat like a horse’s head. It turned its head around several times almost all the way around."

In 1978, witnesses claimed to have seen Chessie near Southern Maryland's Calvert Cliffs State Park and in the Potomac River in Westmoreland County, Virginia.

A sketch of an unknown sea creature, drawn by boater Trudy Guthrie, was published by the Evening Sun in September 1980. It was later identified as a manatee from Florida. Manatees are occasionally sighted in the area. 

In 1982 Robert and Karen Frew supposedly videotaped Chessie near Kent Island. Their video shows a brownish object moving side to side like an aquatic snake.

Another notable sighting of the beast was in 1997, off the shore of Fort Smallwood Park, very close to shore.

The most recent reported sighting occurred on April 5, 2014, at 1:40 am. While parked on the side of Arundel Beach Road directly next to the Magothy River "when the tide was really high", a Maryland resident and his friend reportedly saw Chessie less than 5 feet away from his car. He described it as a snake-like creature 25–30 feet in length, without fins, topped with a slender football-shaped head, and black in color, although he could not distinguish between having scales or leathery skin. The creature did not rise out of the water, but the head and tail end "just breached the surface" of the water as it moved "with a serpentine motion". The witness first questioned himself if it was two separate animals traveling behind one another, but soon realized that it was one creature because of the pattern it created while on the water surface. There are no known snakes in Maryland that get anywhere close to 25 feet long.

Dingonek

The dingonek is a creature said to have been seen near Lake Victoria in 1910 by big game hunter John Alfred Jordan and members of his hunting party, as recounted by fellow big-game hunter Edgar Beecher Bronson in his 1910 memoir In Closed Territory. This account was followed by an article published in 1913 in the East Africa Natural History Society by Charles William Hobley, in which he claims to have encountered further accounts of similarly described creatures. In 1918, an article published by MacLean's declared that the beast was a newly discovered animal species.

The sole description of this creature occurs in big game hunter Edgar Beecher Bronson's 1910 memoir In Closed Territory. In the memoir, Bronson recounts a campsite discussion involving the creature with fellow big-game hunter John Alfred Jordan.

According to Bronson, Jordan claims he encountered the beast with his hunting party. One member of the party, Mataia, claims to have seen it twice, yet Bronson expressed skepticism. Jordan says he encountered the creature while heading to the Maggori, when:

"Presently I heard the bush smashing and up raced my Lumbwa, wide-eyed and gray as their black skins could get, with the yarn that they had seen a frightful strange beast on the river bank, which at the sight of them had plunged into the water as they described it, some sort of a cross between a sea serpent, a leopard, and a whale. Thinking they had gone crazy or were pulling my leg, I told them I'd believe them if they could show me, but not before. After a long shauri palaver among themselves, back they finally ventured, returning in half an hour to say that IT lay full length exposed on the water in midstream."Jordan hurried to the Maggori and saw the creature as described. He describes it as follows:

"Holy saints, but he was a sight fourteen or fifteen feet long, head big as that of a lioness but shaped and marked like a leopard, two long white fangs sticking down straight out of his upper jaw, back broad as a hippo, scaled like an armadillo, but colored and marked like a leopard, and a broad fin tail, with slow, lazy swishes of which he was easily holding himself level in the swift current, headed upstream.

Gad! but he was a hideous old haunter of a nightmare, was that beast-fish, that made you want an airplane to feel safe of him; for while he lay upstream of me, I had been brought down to the river bank precisely where he had taken water, and they're all about me in the soft mud and loam were the imprints of feet wide of diameter as a hippo's but clawed like a reptile's, feet you knew could carry him ashore and claws you could be bally well sure no man could ever get loose from once they had nipped him."

Jordan notes that its fangs appeared "long enough to go clean through a man", and he describes how he sat and waited to watch the creature. In time, he feared the creature might move and see him, and he fired a .303 rifle behind "his leopard ear". The creature sprang out of the water, and Jordan sprinted into the bush in terror.

In 1913, Charles William Hobley published an article in the Journal of East Africa Uganda Natural History Society, in which he discusses "Some Unidentified Beasts" and mentions Bronson's account. According to Hobley:

At the time this story appeared it was considered that this was probably a traveler's tale, told to entertain a newcomer, but I have since met a man who a few years back wandering about the Mara River or Ngare Dubash. He emphatically asserts that he saw the beast. He was at the time where the Mara River crosses the frontier, and the river was in high flood. The beast came floating down the river on a big log, and he estimated its length at about sixteen feet, but could not certain of its length as its tail was in the water. He describes it as spotted like a leopard, covered with scales, and having a head like an otter; he did not see the long fangs described by Mr. Jordan. He fired at it and hit it; it slid off the log into the water and was not seen again.

Hobley theorizes that Bronson's account may be connected to "the greatest rarity which has not yet been bagged would appear to be the extraordinary creature which is said to inhabit certain of the rivers running into Lake Victoria and the lake itself". He mentions several accounts of lake monsters in the region alongside Bronson's account.

Maclean's

In 1918, Canadian magazine Maclean's reprinted material from an article by Jordan himself in The Wide World Magazine, and declared that his evidence for the dingonek "is very positive and believable." According to Jordan:

It lives in Lake Victoria Nyanza and its numerous tributaries, and there is no record of the monster having been seen in any other part of the world. Whether it is a descendant of one of the huge prehistoric saurians that have by a process of adaptation — living as it does in impenetrable regions far away from the encroachments of civilized man - continued with but slight modifications through prodigious ages to the present time, or whether it is an unclassified reptile or amphibian, it is equally impossible to say, as no specimen exists either of its bones or of its skin. That this monster does exist, however, there can be no particle of doubt, as the testimony of authoritative eye-witnesses cannot be reasonably discredited.

Dobhar-chú

 

The Dobhar-chú or King Otter is a creature of Irish folklore. It resembles both a dog and an otter, though it sometimes is described as a half-dog, half-fish. It lives in water and has fur with protective properties

A headstone, found in Conwal cemetery in Glenade, County Leitrim, depicts the Dobhar-chú and is related to a tale of an attack on a local woman by the creature. The stone is claimed to be the headstone of a grave of a woman killed by the Dobhar-chú in the 17th century. Her name was supposedly Grace McGloighlin. Her husband supposedly heard her scream as she was washing clothes down at Glenade Lough and came to her aid. When he got there she was already dead, with the Dobhar-chú upon her bloody and mutilated body. The man killed the Dobhar-chú, stabbing it in the heart. As it died, it made a whistling noise, and its mate arose from the lough. Its mate chased the man but, after a long and bloody battle, he killed it as well.

Dobharchú is an obsolete Irish word for 'otter'. The modern Irish word for water is 'uisce' although 'dobhar' is also used. 'Dobhar' is a much older form and cognates are found in other Celtic languages. 'Cú' is 'hound' in Irish. The Dobhar-chú is also known as the "dobarcu", and anglicized as "doyarchu" and "dhuragoo".

Reported sightings

The Irish artist Sean Corcoran claims to have encountered the Dobhar-chú on his first visit to Omey Island.

Igopogo

In Canadian folklore, the Igopogo is a creature said to dwell in Lake SimcoeOntario.[1] The creature's name is ostensibly based on the Ogopogo, of Lake OkanaganBritish Columbia, and also the title 1952 book I Go Pogo, a slogan often mentioned in the comic. It is also called "Kempenfelt Kelly" after the bay that extends from the lake into the city of Barrie, Ontario. While many scientists disagree with its existence, the tribe continues to be loyal to the Igopogo.

According to legend, the Igopogo is described with a canine-like head, differing from other well-known cryptozoological creatures. Because of this, many believers have speculated that it is related to such canine-like aquatic animals as the Irish crocodile; also known as the Dobhar-chu. According to eyewitness accounts, the creature has also been seen basking in the sun for extended periods of time; implying that it is able to breathe air.

Ishii, Issie

Ishii is a Japanese lake monster said to lurk in Lake Ikeda, on Kyushu Island. It is described as being a saurian in appearance.

According to mythology, Issie was a white mare that had a little foal, and they lived together on the shore of Lake Ikeda. However, when the foal was kidnapped by a samurai, and Issie was unable to find it, she jumped into the lake, and her despair transformed her into a giant, saurian beast, which since then frequently surfaces, trying to find her lost child.

 

The creature was reportedly photographed in 1978, by a man who went by the name "Mr. Matsubara". Twenty other people reportedly also saw the creature in 1978, which they described as black and having two humps, each about 16 feet long, swimming in the lake water. In 1991, another visitor to the lake caught video footage of supposed animal movement in the lake. According to some interpretation, there is a bizarre-looking creature estimated to be 30 feet in length, but the footage could be of surface-swimming 5-foot eels as well.

Kraken 

Is a legendary cephalopod-like sea monster of gigantic size in Scandinavian folklore. According to the Norse sagas, the Kraken dwells off the coasts of Norway and Greenland and terrorizes nearby sailors. Authors over the years have postulated that the legend may have originated from sightings of giant squids that may grow to 40–50 feet in length. The sheer size and fearsome appearance attributed to the Kraken have made it a common ocean-dwelling monster in various fictional works. The Kraken has been the focus of many superstitious sailors passing the North Atlantic and especially sailors from the Nordic countries due to their proximity and its Scandinavian origin. Throughout the centuries the Kraken has been a staple part of sailors' superstitions and mythos being heavily linked to sailors' abilities to tell a tall tale.

The English word Kraken is taken from the modern Scandinavian languages, originating from the Old Norse word kaki. In both Norwegian and Swedish Kraken is the definite form of Krake, a word designating an unhealthy animal or something twisted. In modern German, Krake means octopus but can also refer to the legendary Kraken. Kraken is also an old Norwegian word for octopus and an old euphemism in Swedish for whales, used when the original word became taboo as it was believed it could summon the creatures.

An illustration from the original 1870 edition of Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne

After returning from Greenland, the anonymous author of the Old Norwegian natural history work Konungs skuggsjá, circa 1250, described in detail the physical characteristics and feeding behavior of these beasts. The narrator proposed there must be only two in existence, stemming from the observation that the beasts have always been sighted in the same parts of the Greenland Sea and that each seemed incapable of reproduction, as there was no increase in their numbers.

Since the late 18th century, Kraken has been depicted in a number of ways, primarily as large octopus-like creatures, and it has often been alleged that  Kraken might have been based on sailors' observations of the giant squid. The Kraken is also depicted to have spikes on its suckers. In the earliest descriptions, however, the creatures were more crab-like than octopus-like, and generally possessed traits that are associated with large whales rather than with giant squid. Some traits of Kraken resemble undersea volcanic activity occurring in the Iceland region, including bubbles of water; sudden, dangerous currents; and appearance of new islets.

 

Kussie

Kussie is a Japanese lake monster said to be living in Hokkaidō's Lake Kussharo

Lagarfljót Worm

In Icelandic folklore, the Lagarfljót worm is a lake monster purported to live in Lagarfljót, a lake by the town of Egilsstaðir

The first sighting is generally conceded to be the 1345 "marvel" seen at Lagarfljót century chronicle, and a baroque poem from the 17th-century chronicle.

The skrýimli monster was seen at the lake in 1749–1750, and the media have reported sightings into the 20th and 21st century, including a 2012 video supposedly showing the creature swimming.

According to the folktale published in Jón Árnason's collection 1862, a "heath worm", type of slug, kept with gold grew into a monster inhabiting the lake.

Similar "heath worm" stories are attached to several other Icelandic bodies of water. And at SkorradalsvatnSabine Baring-Gould collected an 1862 account of a monster with a seal-like head, which has been compared to or equated with older accounts of monsters at Lagarfljót.

 

The serpentine creature is said to live in Lagarfljót, a freshwater, below-sea-level, glacial-fed lake which has very poor visibility as a result of siltation. It is described as longer than a bus, or 40 feet, and has also been reported outside the water, lying coiled up or slithering into the trees. It is a "many humps" type of lake monster, rather than the simply serpentine type of, for example, the Loch Ness Monster.

The Lagarfljót Worm has been sighted several times in modern times, including in 1963 by the head of the Icelandic National Forest Service, Sigurður Blöndal, and in 1998 by a teacher and students at Hallormsstaðir School. In 1983, contractors laying a telephone cable measured a large shifting mass near the eastern shore when performing preliminary depth measurements, and when they later retrieved the non-functional cable, found that it was broken where it had lain over the anomaly:

"This cable that was specially engineered so it wouldn’t kink was wound in several places and badly torn and damaged in 22 different places . . . . I believe we dragged the cable directly over the belly of the beast. Unless it was through its mouth".

A sightseeing boat named Lagarfljótsormurinn, beginning operations on the lake in 1999, and the Gunnar Gunnarsson Institution in Skriðuklaustur seek to preserve the traditions of the Lagarfljót Worm for cultural and tourism purposes.

In February 2012, the Icelandic national broadcaster, published a video thought to show the Lagarfljót Worm swimming in snow-covered icy water. But according to a frame-by-frame analysis of the footage by Finland-based researcher Miisa McKeown, the filmed object actually made no progress through the water, although optical illusion made it appear to propel forward. The phenomenon could be explained by a flimsy inanimate object being moved by the rapid current. Despite this, in 2012, an Icelandic panel voted by a 7-to-6 margin to authenticate the video as genuine, awarding money to the filmmaker. This received criticism as an attempt to attract visitors to crypto tourism.

In August 2014, an Icelandic truth commission reported that members were divided about the video but saw no reason to doubt the existence of the creature.

Lake Van Monster

In Turkish folklore, the Lake Van Monster is a lake monster said to live in Lake Van in eastern Turkey.

The Armenian chroniclers Movses Khorenatsi and Anania Shirakatsi wrote about vishaps living in Lake Van. According to the legend, the god Vahagn, the vishapakagh "reaper of vishaps", would plunge into Lake Van to drag out any vishap that had grown large enough to devour the world. Scholar James Russell considers that this legend is an Armenian adoption of Urartian myths concerning the combat of the god Teisheba with the water monster Ullikummi. Russell writes that into the modern period, the Armenians of the Van basin would refer to the sudden storms that arise on the lake as vishap kami (wind).

A story in the Ottoman newspaper Saadet of April 29, 1889, recounted that a creature had dragged a man into lake Van. Following reports of the incident, the Ottoman government sent an official scientific survey group to the lake who failed to spot the creature.

 

Russell discounts a connection between their belief about lake vishaps and the 1990s sightings of a lake creature, considering that any folk beliefs amongst the Kurdish population are likely to be affected more by stories about lake monsters in popular Western culture than any surviving Armenian traditions. He also recounts that Kurds he met in Van in 1994 and 1997 considered the lake monster story to be a "commercial ploy and a farce".

In 1997 a local man called Ünal Kozak claimed to have captured the monster on video which was sent for analysis. Academic Mustafa Y. Nutku has written a book about the creature, together with Kozak.

Kozak's video is under constant criticism, with questions like why it never pans left, possibly because of a boat that may have carried the creature. Why the monster only goes straight, instead of curving through the water. Even criticism as to why the breathing is not in and out, but a continuous release, much like the effects of an air hose.

A 4-meter high statue based on reported sightings has been erected to its honor in Van, Turkey.

Skeptics point out that the region would benefit from tourist revenue and a hoax might attract visitors.

 

Loch Ness Monster

The Loch Ness Monster, or Nessie, is a cryptid in cryptozoology and Scottish folklore that is said to inhabit Loch Ness in the Scottish Highlands. It is often described as large, long-necked, and with one or more humps protruding from the water. Popular interest and belief in the creature have varied since it was brought to worldwide attention in 1933. Evidence of its existence is anecdotal, with a number of disputed photographs and sonar readings.

The scientific community regards the Loch Ness Monster as a phenomenon without a biological basis, explaining sightings as hoaxeswishful thinking, and the misidentification of mundane objects.

 

The first modern discussion of a sighting of a strange creature in the loch may have been in the 1870s when D. Mackenzie claimed to have seen something "wriggling and churning up the water". The best-known article that first attracted a great deal of attention about a creature was published on 2 May 1933 in Inverness Courier, about a large "beast" or "whale-like fish". The Courier in 2017 published excerpts from the Campbell article, which had been titled "Strange Spectacle in Loch Ness".

Mamlambo

 

Mamlambo is a deity in South African and Zulu mythology, the "goddess of rivers", described as a large snake-like creature.

In 1997, South African newspapers reported on sightings of a "giant reptile" monster in the Mzintlava River near Mount Ayliff in South Africa. Villagers in the area claimed that the creature was 67 feet long, had the head of a horse, the lower body of a fish, short legs, and the neck of a snake and that it shined with a green light at night. During the period between January and April 1997, as many as nine deaths had been attributed to the Mamlambo. According to police, the victims had been in the water a while and had the soft parts of their heads and neck eaten by crabs; local villagers, on the other hand, claimed that these mutilations had been caused by the Mamlambo's habit of eating faces and brains. For this reason, the Mamlambo is often referred to as "the Brain Sucker".

Manipogo

 

In Canadian folklore, the Manipogo is a lake monster said to live in Lake ManitobaManitobaCanada. The creature was dubbed Manipogo in 1960, the name echoing British Columbia's Ogopogo. There is also a Lake Winnipegosis sea monster called Winnepogo, thought possibly to be the same creature as the lakes are connected.

The monster is described as being from 12 to 45 feet long. It is described as "A long muddy-brown body with humps that show above the water, and a sheep-like head."

There is a provincial park on the west shore of Lake Manitoba named Manipogo Provincial Park.

St Laurent, a community on the southeast shores of Lake Manitoba, holds a Manipogo festival in the first week of March every year.

People have claimed to have seen the lake monster since the 1800s. The local native population has legends of serpent-like creatures in Lake Manitoba going back hundreds of years. A group of seventeen witnesses, all reportedly strangers to one another, claimed to have spotted three Manipogos swimming together. In the early 1960s, Professor James A. McLeod of Manitoba University investigated the creature by trying to locate its remains. If there is a breeding population in the lake, carcasses and bones should remain after death. McLeod found none.

Mokele-mbembe

In Congo River Basin mythology, Mokele-mbembe, or "one who stops the flow of rivers",  is a water-dwelling entity, sometimes described as a living creature, sometimes as a spirit.

During the early 20th century, descriptions of the entity increasingly reflected a public fascination with dinosaurs, including aspects of particular dinosaur species now known among scientists to be incorrect, and the entity became increasingly described alongside a number of purported living dinosaurs in Africa.

Over time, the entity became a point of focus in particular among adherents of the pseudoscience of cryptozoology, and young-Earth creationism, resulting in numerous expeditions led by cryptozoologists and funded by young-Earth creationists and groups with the aim of finding evidence that invalidates scientific consensus regarding evolution

In 1909, the first mention of an apatosaurus-like creature in Beasts and Men, the autobiography of famed big-game hunter Carl Hagenbeck. He claimed to have heard from two independent sources about a creature living in Rhodesia which was described to them by natives as "half elephant, half-dragon."Naturalist Joseph Menges had also told Hagenbeck about similar stories. Hagenbeck speculated that "it can only be some kind of dinosaur, seemingly akin to the Brontosaurus." Another of Hagenbeck's sources, Hans Schomburgk, asserted that while at Lake Bangweulu, he noted a lack of hippopotami; his native guides informed him of a large hippo-killing creature that lived in Lake Bangweulu; however, as noted below, Schomburgk thought that native testimony was sometimes unreliable.

Reports of entities described to be dinosaur-like in Africa caused a minor sensation in the mass media, and newspapers in Europe and North America carried many articles on the subject in 1910–1911; some took the reports at face value, others were more skeptical.

Nahuelito

Nahuelito is a lake monster reported to live in Nahuel Huapi LakePatagoniaArgentina. The Argentine creature is named after the lake it resides in and has been described as a giant serpent or a huge hump, as well as a plesiosaur. Nahuelito has been allegedly shown through photos showing a hump, or a serpentine body.

Press coverage for the purposed lake monster in Patagonia began in 1922, but reports of Nahuelito date back just to the last decades of the 19th century. The Buenos Aires Zoo has been attempting to collect evidence of a plesiosaur in Argentina's Patagonian lakes since 1922, under the patronage of Clemente Onelli, but no consequential evidence was found. The small lake where the presence of the creature was claimed is known today as Laguna del Plesiosaurio.

Ogopogo

In Canadian folklore, the Ogopogo or Oggy is a lake monster said to inhabit Okanagan Lake in British Columbia, Canada. Some scholars have charted the entity's development from First Nations folklore and widespread water monster folklore motifs. The Ogogopo now plays a role in the commercial symbolism and media representation of the region.

The origins of the palindromic name Ogopogo remain unclear. According to historian Mark M. Orkin, "according to canon", the creature received its name "on a night in 1924 when the strains of an English music-hall song were first heard in the city of Vernon, British Columbia". Orkin cites the following lines from the song:

His mother was an earwig,

His father was a whale;

A little bit of head

And hardly any tail—

And Ogopogo was his name.

Orkin, however, notes that "A somewhat different form of the song appeared in the Vancouver Province in 1912, August 24, 1926. According to DC, the name was first applied in 1912." Additionally, the creature may sometimes be referred to by the pet name Oggy. Smaller creatures may be referred to as Ogopups.

Rattlesnake Island, where native myths claimed N'ha-a-itk lived, according to Radford, the Ogopogo is "more closely tied to native myths than is any other lake monster." The Secwepemc and Syilx natives regarded the Ogopogo, which they called the Naitaka, as "an evil supernatural entity with great power and ill intent." The word "n'ha-a-itk" has various translations, such as "water-demon", "water god", or "sacred creature of the water". In native lore, Naitaka demanded a live sacrifice for the safe crossing of the lake. For hundreds of years, First Nations would sacrifice small animals before entering the water. Oral traditions often described visiting chief Timbasket, who rejected the required sacrifice, refuting the existence of the demon. Upon entering the lake on a canoe with his family, Naitaka "whipped up the surface of the lake with his long tail" and the canoe and its occupants were sucked to the bottom of the lake. The Naitaka was often described as using its tail to create fierce storms to drown victims. Local lore claims that Sir John Lambton killed a "wyrm" from the lake, which resulted in all of his descendants coming under a witch's curse which would not allow any Lambton to die in bed. In 1855, settler John MacDougal claimed that his horses were sucked down into the water, and nearly his canoe before he cut the line. The Naitaka was said to reside in caves under Rattlesnake Island or adjacent to Squally Point.

 

Susan Allison's 1872 sighting was the first detailed Ogopogo account from a white settler. She was the first non-native person to live in the region, establishing relations with the native peoples.

While driving on Highway 97 in 1968, Art Folden noticed something moving in the lake. He pulled off the road and filmed what he claimed to be footage of the alleged creature, showing a large wake moving across the water. Foldern estimated that the Ogopogo was 300 yards offshore. A computer analysis of the footage concluded it was a solid, three-dimensional object. Folden noticed "something large and lifelike"; in the distance out on the calm water and pulled out his home movie camera to capture the object. A 2005 investigation conducted by Benjamin Radford with Joe Nickell and John Kirk, utilized surveyor boats to find the actual distance of the alleged creature from the shore. They found that it was much closer to shore than originally thought, resulting in a reduction of actual size and speed. They concluded that it was likely a real animal but its size had been greatly overestimated and that it was probably a waterfowl, otter, or beaver too far away to be identified.

In the 1980s, a local tourism agency offered a cash reward for a proven sighting of the beast. Greenpeace announced that the beast must be filmed and not captured; the Ogopogo was listed as an endangered species. In 1980, around 50 tourists watched an alleged Ogopogo for about 45 minutes off a beach at Kelowna. Larry Thal, a tourist from Vancouver, shot some 8mm film, albeit for only 10 seconds. In 1989, John Kirk reportedly saw an animal which was 35 to 40 feet long and consisted of "five sleek jet-black humps" with a lashing tail. He believed it to be traveling at around 25 miles per hour.

Selma

In Norwegian folklore, Selma is a legendary sea serpent said to live in the Lake Seljord in SeljordVestfold og TelemarkNorway.

 

The sea serpent Selma has been depicted in the coat of arms of Seljord since 1989. Designed by sculpturer, Trygve Magnus Barstad, the arms show Selma in a gold-color on a red background.

The sea serpent has been discussed for a long time and there have been witness descriptions of encounters, especially in hot, quiet summer. The oldest written account of the creature dates from 1750 when it was said to have rounded a rowboat belonging to a man from  rowing across from Ulvenes to Nes. 

Steller's sea ape

Steller's sea ape is a purported marine mammal, observed by German zoologist Georg Steller on August 10, 1741, around the Shumagin Islands in Alaska. The animal was described as being around five feet, or one and a half meters long, with a dog-like head, long drooping whiskers; an elongated but robust body, thick fur coat, and no limbs but for two tail fins much like a shark. He described the creature as being playful and inquisitive, much like a monkey. After observing it for two hours, he attempted to shoot and collect the creature but missed, and the creature swam away. A similar creature was seen in June 1965, by sailor Miles Smeeton and company off Atka Island, Alaska.

There have been four attempts to scientifically classify the creature, described as Simia marina, Siren cynocephala, Trichechus hydropithecus, and Manatus simia. Steller most likely simply misidentified a Northern fur seal.

Tahoe Tessie

In Lake Tahoe folklore, Tahoe Tessie is a creature that resides in North America's largest alpine lake, Lake Tahoe, located in Nevada and California. Founder of the University of California, Davis's Tahoe Research Group Charles R. Goldman attributes claimed sightings to pareidolia and the mistaken identification of a large breed of fish introduced to Lake Tahoe during trout and mackinaw plantings.

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