I Gotcha Your Lake Monster! – Immortal Monday

What hides and avoid detection in deep water sources – most of the time?

You guessed it, Sea Monsters. I’m not above taking request here at Immortal Monday. It might take a while, as in the case of this one – sorry Paige! – but I usually get around to them, eventually. I hear the thoughts that are probably churning in your head right now. Sea Monsters are not immortal. True. But it is a topic that has been around for a very long time, so let’s explore it.

When you hear the term sea monster, what’s the first thing that comes to mind? I’m guessing four out of five people say Nessie, the Loch Ness monster. She is one of the most well-known water treading monsters around. She’s a fresh water biggie. But did you know that many lakes across the world report similar monsters? Why, Lake Champlain, right here along the USA-Canadian border has our own star that’s made national television coverage. His/her name is Champ, and is believed to be a plesiosaur (a pre-historic dinosaur). He also has the best captured pictures on file! That sounds about right, doesn’t it? Living right there on the US border, he’s gunning for stardom and recognition. This amazing shot of Champ was snapped by in July of 1977 by Sandra Mansi while picnicking at the lake with her family. Her husband was busy plucking the kids from the water. It has been studied by many scientists and is believed to be the real deal.

Is that an elephant trunk I see? 😉

Sandra Mansi’s Photo
via SeaMonsters.WikiSpaces

Ooh! Oh! Wait. What’s that? What’s that there under the boat?

Nessie was once thought to be a plesiosaur, based on the famous Surgeon’s photograph, the second, and most popular picture ever taken of the noted creature. The first was snapped in November of 1933 by Hugh Gray. He took several pictures that day. Each was blurry, with only one being semi viewable. Many disregard the photo as that of a dog in the water with a stick.

What did happen about that time, though, become almost an unstoppable force. In August of that year, The Courier published a piece about the creature based on a local man’s account. He asserted that a dragon-like creature had crossed the road in front of he and his wife while in their motor car. Anonymous sightings started pouring in after that. In December they had their first published photo – Hugh Gray’s. I leave that for you to consider.

Surgeon’s photo
via Wikipedia

One year later Dr. Robert Kenneth Wilson captured his picture (the Surgeon’s photograph) that would have everyone talking and R. T. Gould would publish a book. Loch Ness Lake became known all around the world! Dr. Wilson professed that he got lucky and happened across the monster, simply snapping the pictures quickly. Only two came out, the more famous one being the better of the two. They have since both been proven to be a hoax. Dr. Wilson eventually admitted that he used a toy submarine with wood attached to make the creature for the picture. Tsk, tsk.

Scientists say that just because the two early photos from Loch Ness were fake, it is not proof that the creature doesn’t exist. There are far too many sightings to be dismissed. They date back as far as 565 AD when the monster was scared away by the power of prayer by the monk, Saint Columbia. The most recent sighting was published only a few weeks ago. The very night I logged on to look up Nessie. What are the odds? It was a sign from above. An ideal location, it’s a serious deep fresh water source at 746 feet. Easily enabling something (even a very large something) to get lost and remain hidden if it so desires. In contrast, Lake Champlain is only 400 feet at its deepest point. Maybe that’s why Champ has made a few more guest appearances. Not as easy to hide. Sightings at Lake Champlain predate the French explorer Samuel de Champlain‘s 1609 visit to the Native Indians who settled the area, which Champlain later founded as Québec.

Today, the theory of the plesiosaur has been mothballed for a more likely option – the basilosaurus – a thirty million year-old whale that looks much like a serpent and moves through the water much like a snake. Chinese dragon, anyone?  That might explain the humps often viewed. The pre-historic whale is an illusive cryptozoology creature (one whose existence is yet to be proven). When a carcass resembling one is washed up, scientists are quick to declare it  a basking shark because, when decayed, it can look similar. But there are differences when you look closer. More often than not, it’s easier and more expedient for the scientist to dismiss it. Most likely, modern basilosaurus would look even more like a plesiosaur, matching sightings of Nessie or Champ, having long necks, small heads, and flippers. 

Other sightings that may be taken as a sea monster: an oversized crocodile, extra-large turtle, enormous fish.

 A recent theory I heard regarding  Loch Ness is something close to a manatee. It suggests that they (yes, they) are always viewed in packs and that’s why people see more than one hump in the water. Eeeeh. I don’t know. I tend to think they wouldn’t travel in a straight line. What do you think?. The sheer number of sightings over the years is intriguing. So many lakes, in different regions, seen by people, of varied ethnicities and belief systems. Is it simply an overwhelming desire to believe? Where does it leave you on the scale of lake monster believability?

Where have reports been made?. Lake Windermere’s, Kanas Lake, Lake Merritt, Argentinean Lake, Lake Okanagan, Flathead Lake, Lake Murray, Lake Norman, Lake Tianchi, Lake Tele, Falmouth Bay, Nahuel Huapi Lake, Lake IkedaLake Strosjon, Lake Okanagan, Turtle Lake. ~ To name a few. 😉

Did Google Earth capture an image of Nessie? Enter co-ordinates Latitude 57°12’52.13″N, Longitude 4°34’14.16″W in Google Earth and judge for yourself. Read more here.


Thor and Loki had a bit of a family spat. It’s a good thing that Thor had his trip planned and is out the door. It was important to put some distance between them. Our Norse god is currently on his way to England. I will keep you posted on his progress.

There is still time to join in the fun. Leave a comment or drop me a line if you would like to get involved in the Thor blog tour. He is physically making the trip to everyone on the list! Thank you to all those already signed up and participating.


I love hearing from you! If you enjoyed this post or any of my previous posts, I’d be delighted to have you hit the follow button or add this blog to your RSS feed! You may also find me on twitter at @DebraKrist. Tootles! Thanks for stopping by!

28 thoughts on “I Gotcha Your Lake Monster! – Immortal Monday”

  1. Kristy K. JamesKristy K. James

    Stories about creatures in the water have always fascinated me, and I very much enjoyed today’s post. Based on the video, I don’t think the Lake Champlain monster in the video looks at all like the picture of the basilosaurus. I thought it resembled a dinosaur head and neck, and whales just don’t look like that. I suppose a really skinny whale might.

    The fact of the matter is, for all the things that have been discovered, there are probably at least that many things that have yet to be found. Do I believe in the water monsters? I don’t know. Some of the things I’ve seen lead me to believe that they exist. But, as with so many things, there is a lot of evidence to the contrary, too.

    The only thing I know for sure is that I’m glad I prefer swimming in pools. 🙂

    • Debra KristiDebra Kristi

      I believe their point was that it’s supposed to be a pre-historic whale that looks like a dinosaur. Not something that looks like Shamu. But I do agree with you fully on things being discovered, things we thought no longer or never existed often enough not to dismiss this so readily.

  2. Coleen PatrickColeen Patrick

    I loved all things Loch Ness when I was a kid. I think I checked out every book the library had! I don’t remember that New Zealand story–I would’ve been fascinated about that! I’m inclined to believe some sort of sea monsters exist. 🙂

    • Debra KristiDebra Kristi

      There are so many other lakes with similar stories. If you had only known then, you could have simply moved over to the next when you exhausted all the Loch Ness reading supplies. 🙂 I, too, was fascinated as a kid. I want to believe. 🙂

  3. Julie HedlundJulie Hedlund

    I love Nessie as much as the next person. I WISH she were real (or at least that we could get proof). 🙂

    • Debra KristiDebra Kristi

      The early hoaxes played hurt Nessie’s case. But if you want to believe I don’t know if we’re going to get anything better than the footage already obtained from”Champ.” That’s pretty cool footage. Unless someone happens to capture one waddling out of the water for a snack. Now that would be something, wouldn’t it? 😀 Thanks for stopping in Julie!

  4. Paige KellermanPaige Kellerman

    Thank you! Although my husband loves to make fun of me for it, I have no doubt that at least a couple of these creatures exist. There’s been a few sightings of one up in Canada called, “Ogopogo”, which many say is plausible due to the underground caverns that are too deep to really explore thoroughly. That, and, because these bodies of water can access the oceans, I don’t see any reason why a large creature could come and go as it pleases.

    I’m not sure why people are always so skeptical. Our recorded history only goes back so far, and we’re constantly “discovering” new species in the ocean, so it doesn’t seem that far fetched to think that some of these animals are rare but still around (terrifying, but not unlikely..lol)

    Thanks again for honoring my request, and I’m so sorry I haven’t kept up with commenting better. My pregnant brain is just barely remembering to feed the kids and maybe make dinner…sigh.

    • Debra KristiDebra Kristi

      Oh, yeah. If you click on the link at the bottom of the piece : Lake Okanagan, it takes you to “Ogopogo.” I didn’t list every single creature for the sake of my word count. LOL. But I chose to link several of them by location at the very end. Japan has one named “Issie” similar to “Nessie.”

      I’ve heard about the underground cavern theory as well. I don’t know if I necessarily buy into that one, but it is a possibility. It would explain how they care able to move in and out. I can’t see one wanting to be permanently confined to the space of one lake. But I could be wrong. But then you get into the breath ability issue. Most fresh water fish and mammals can’t breath in salt water and vise versa. But then, I’m not a fish and mammal expert.

      Never worry about your visitation frequency. Mine hasn’t been too great as of late. I’m sure you noticed. And I don’t have the awesome pregnant card excuse. Just kids, summer and writing. Take care of you first girlie!

  5. EmmaEmma

    I love the Loch Ness monster legend. I remember an episode of The X-Files where Mulder and Scully investigated a lake monster and it ended up eating Scully’s dog.

    • Debra KristiDebra Kristi

      OMG! I forgot about that episode. LOL! That poor dog. I’m always sad when the animal gets it. What is it they say? “Don’t kill the puppy.” *Grins* But sometimes it’s just too good to pass up.

  6. Kim GriffinKim Griffin

    My son is obsessed with the Lochness Monster ~ in fact, he just got one in beanie baby form 🙂
    I believe it’s possible that these creatures exist, for sure. Have you seen The Waterhorse?

    • Debra KristiDebra Kristi

      I bet that is the cutest little beanie. Unless they made him a scary fire breather?
      I have seen “The Waterhorse.” Great movie! If only we could raise one in our tube and have it love us like a dog. 😀 Thanks, Kim!

  7. Jennette Marie PowellJennette Marie Powell

    I have to admit to being a skeptic – the older photos aren’t that clear, and newer can so easily be doctored. But the main reason is, it’s hard to believe there’s no more conclusive evidence than this after centuries. Still, it’s fun to think about! Thanks for another fun and informative IM!

  8. Louise BehielLouise Behiel

    I grew up hearing about Ogopogo, so I have no doubt it’s real. but I have never seen it. fascinating post, Debra. thx.

    • Debra KristiDebra Kristi

      Thank you, Louise. Sorry for the late response.

      September 9, 2012
  9. susielindaususielindau

    I love this! I have always been fascinated with Nessy! An ongoing mystery…..

  10. Debra EveDebra Eve

    Fun post, Debra! I spent some time on Loch Shiel in Scotland about a decade ago. I learned from the locals that each Scottish loch has its own monster (the one on Shiel is a “Shielagh” and Nessie is a “Niseag”). They were a bit miffed that Loch Ness’s monster gets all the publicity 🙂

    • Debra KristiDebra Kristi

      I think I’d be a little miffed as well if I was loyal to one of the other lochs. Thank you for sharing that bit of information, Debra. That was wonderful.

      September 9, 2012
  11. Marcy KennedyMarcy Kennedy

    As you might have guessed, myths and legends fascinate me. I love thinking about whether there might be any truth behind them or what they might have intended to teach us. I’d obviously heard about the Loch Ness monster before, but I didn’t know Canada and the US had our very own version popping up in Lake Champlain.

    • Debra KristiDebra Kristi

      I might have picked that up about you somewhere. 😉 If you check the links along the bottom you’ll find there are many more lake monsters to be found than just the US and Canada. They are everywhere!

      September 9, 2012
  12. Karen McFarlandKaren McFarland

    Debra, you did an amazing job with this post girl! Wow, you did your homework. I’d never heard of the sea monster in Lake Champlain. And how silly is that being closer to home. But when in Scotland, of course you can imagine how big a deal Nessie is over there. We had the boys with us. At the time they were 18 and 17. We took them to the Lock Ness museum. Did the whole touristy thing. It’s a big lake. It makes so much sense that this sea monster might be a descendant of something from the dinosaur age. It’s a pretty cool legend. 🙂

  13. Melinda VanLoneMelinda VanLone

    I see no reason why giant creatures couldn’t exist. They find new ones in deep water all the time, so I figure Nessie just has to be real! And, apparently, camera shy.

  14. Tameri EthertonTameri Etherton

    When we were in Scotland a few years ago, Loch Ness was one of the few places I really wanted to visit, but we didn’t make it to see. I totally believe there is a Nessie in the water. Probably many Nessies since she’d be hundreds of years old. I figure it’s best not to discount what I can’t see because there are a lot of places on this planet where things can hide. Big and small things. That New Zealand plesiosaur thing is creeeeeepy.

    • Debra KristiDebra Kristi

      Okay, I say we pack our bags and go investigate. I want to see me a lake monster! But I want to be on land when I do. LOL! I agree, I think there have been families, long lines of them, through the ages. Pretty cool, actually.

      September 9, 2012
  15. Laura RitchieLaura Ritchie

    The possibility of these creatures existing has always fascinated me. I hope they are out there, and that they always stay just beyond our reach.

    September 2, 2012
    • Debra KristiDebra Kristi

      You sound like me, Laura. I simply want to believe in the possibilities. I think that would be amazing. Thanks!

      September 10, 2012

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