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Monsters of the deep »
What lies beneath the murky waters of a lake or in the sea? We actually know very little about what creatures inhabit the water, Scientists estimate that they probably only know about one percent of what’s in that big ocean and not just in the ocean this includes lakes as well. There have been various sightings around the world of strange lake and sea monsters.
THE LOCH NESS MONSTER
Probably the most famous monster in the world tourists have flocked from all over the world to loch ness in Inverness Scotland to try and catch a glimpse of the monster. There have been many sightings and incredibly some very credible evidence of such a creature existing. In July 2003 a sixty seven year old man Mr. Mcsorley from Stirling was taking a walk in the shallow water near the bank of the loch when he tripped over something he picked it up and cleaned the allege off it and realised it was a fossil of some sort, he took his find the national museum in Edinburgh who confirmed it was the fossil of an adult Plesiosaur.
Nothing like this had been discover before at Loch ness but it is certainly strong evidence that at some point a thirty five foot monster existed in the area. The fossil was estimated to be one hundred and fifty million years old and the long necked sea reptile that existed during the Jurassic and Cretaceous periods has a strong resemblance to descriptions gave by those who have claimed to have seen Nessie. However the Plesiosaur is known as a dinosaur that lived in the sea so how did it end up in Loch Ness. Both British and American Scientists believe they have evidence that the sea extended into the Loch at two difference points in history. Once around one hundred and twenty five thousand years ago after the ice age in Europe and once again twelve thousand eight hundred years ago. In 2001 a research team noticed the clay on the anchor of their boat was different from other deposits found at the same part of the Loch. They done carbon dating and amino-acid testing on the clay that indicated that it contained clams and sea urchin spines from both twelve thousand eight hundred and one hundred and twenty five thousand years ago and this is evidence enough to suggest Plesiosaurs could have swam into and became trapped in the Loch. So where could the elusive Nessie be hiding, well the Loch has never been fully explored because of its depths it was thought that the deepest point in loch ness was seven hundred and fifty four feet deep and contains more water that all the lakes across England and whales put together. But some sonar and echo readings using special equipment have detected deeper levels suggesting that there might be under water caves.
Recorded sightings of nessie go back as far as 565 AD when Saint Columba claimed to have saw a strange monster in the river ness that linked the Loch to the sea.
Modern sightings did not start getting recorder until 1933, a local Mrs Mackay thought she seen something in the water and told no one but her husband until 1988. Also in 1933 a Mr. and Mrs. Spicer who were driving along the side of the loch in their car when Mrs Spicer saw something crossing the road. It was described as having a large body with a long neck and that it slogged across the road in a seal like fashion at first they said it was around six feet long, but later changed their minds and decided it was thirty feet when they remembered it was wider than the road.
This wasn’t the only land sighting one year later a vet nary student named Arthur Grant was heading home when he claims he saw something lurking in the bushes. As he was going round the corner he said the thing bounded onto the road. He put the brakes on and swerved barely missing the creature. His headlights where on and he got a look at it .He estimated the creature was about twenty feet long it had a long neck and tail which appeared tapered to a point at the end. The head was eel like with oval eyes and it had two humps on its back one on each shoulder. He drew what he saw immediately and then said the monster bounded back to the lake similar to a seal and swam off.
The most famous sighting was in 1934 by gynaecologist Kevin Wilson who produced a photograph of what appeared to be a long neck coming out of the water and is probably the most famous picture to date and had many scientists’ curios. However this turned out to be a fake. He had attached a wooden cut out to a remote control boat which he drove into the water then took a blurry picture. Many people still however many still believe this picture to be genuine. There have since been a number of blurry photos and videos of something moving fast under the water’s surface could this just be seals or something bigger, we don’t know but these sightings got scientists exited. Enoughth to do further studies.
In October 1969 Andrew Carroll a field researcher for the new York Aquarium done one sonar sweep of lake that made contact with a strong animate echo for nearly three minutes just north of Foyers. They never confirmed what the contact was and it still remains a mystery today. When the results were studied on returning to the university of Chicago biologist Roy Mackal and colleagues confirmed the dimensions of something of twenty feet. There had been earlier studies but this was the first that had such a result. In 1970 Roy Mackal devised a system of hydrophones and submerged them into the water at different intervals throughout the loch. In that August he lowerd two hydrophones into Urquhart bay down to seven hundred feet. After two nights of recording they retrieved the tapes and played them. They heard strange bird like chirps and the intensity of the chirps recorded on the hydrophones suggested the nosies had been produced at a greater depth. In October knocks and clicks were recorded by another hydrophone in the same bay the sounds were followed by a strange turbulent swishing suggestive of the tail of a large aquatic animal. They believed these sounds to be of an animal echo locating its pray before a kill. The noises stoped when any boat passed along the surface of the water near the hydrophone and started again once they reached a safe distance away. They tryed communicating with the creature by playing the sounds back and listening for a response. The results varied as some of the sounds intensified and sometimes there was no change. Roy Mackal noted that the strange sounds they had recorded bared no similarity to the hundreds of sounds known to be produced by aquatic animals. He also concluded with competent authorities that there are no known animals within Loch Ness that have the anatomical capabilities of producing such calls.
Operation Deep scan took place in 1987. This was the biggest sonar exploration of Loch Ness. Twenty four boats with sonar set sail across the whole width of the lake and they simultaneously sent out acoustic waves. The BBC news reported the scientists had readings of something large, unidentifiable and of unusual size and strength. After analysing the sonar images it seemed to point to debris at the bottom of the loch although three of the images were moving they speculated these might be seals as they would match the size of the objects detected. A Darrell Lawrence who donated a number of sonar units used during the operation reported that once specific echogram detected a large moving object near Urquhart bay at six hundred feet deep. He said “There’s something here that we don’t understand, and there’s something here that’s larger than a fish, maybe some species that hasn’t been detected before. I don’t know”
There is no other lake monster with so much credibility or sightings than the Loch ness monster. Who knows maybe whole families of monster lurk beneath and maybe one day we will finally discover the mysteries of the Loch.
Lake Menphremagog is the lake that separates Vermont Canada from Newport USA and is home to a sea serpent known as Memphr’e. The first documented sightings were found in diary that was hidden under floor boards for 100 years. They were written by a Ralph merry IV.in1816 he lived in Magog Canada. In his journal he wrote of the sightings reported by four different people but as the journals are copy written we cannot write the descriptions. Although before this it is said that when early settlers arrived in the area Native Americans told them they would not swim or bath in the lake as it was inhabited by a sea monster. The lake is twenty seven miles long and around six hundred and eighty-two feet deep. There have been over two hundred sightings many of which have been collected and documented by dracontologist Barbara Molloy who has also had some of her own encounters although her archives are also copyrighted. But she claims to have seen the monster eight times which she describes as being fifty feet long humpish gray, slimy and a mud burrowing beast. Other reports describe it as being a long snake like creature with scales similar in colour to a rainbow trout.
Lake Van is a large alkaline lake in eastern turkey is around one hundred and nineteen kilometres across at its widest point and is four hundred and fifty one metres deep. The first reported sighting was not until 1995 but there are now over one thousand sightings. The creature is said to be around fithteen metres long and has spikes on its back and has a similar appearance to a plesiosaur like the loch ness monster or an ichthyosaurus. Due to the volume of reports the Turkish government sent an official scientific group to the lake... But they failed to find the creature. The lake is the fourth biggest lake and largest salt water lake in the world and is so salty that there are very few fish that and survive and very little plant life. Scientists done an experiment where they realised rainbow trout’s into the water they dies after fifteen minutes.
A teaching assistant at Van University called Unal Kozak claims to have filmed the creature on three separate occasions one of his films even made it on to the CNN news. He has sent his time interviewing anyone who has witnessed the creature and has even written a book on his findings. However there has never been any conclusive evidence found.
This creature lives in Argentina in Lake Nahuel Haupi. Nahuelito is described to be either a long serpent with humps or like nessie a plesiosaur. The lake covers three hundreds and eighteen square feet at the bottom of mount Patagonian. Apparently Patagonian Indians would tell tales of a lake dwelling monster without a head, legs or tail but the press only started to cover the story in 1922. When a Dr Clementi O’Neil who is Director of the Buenos Aires Zoo. Recived a report of huge tracks and crushed bushes and undergrowth which lead to an unnamed lake shore. They saw a monster in the middle of the lake. The American gold prospector Martin Sheffield who reported the sighting said he saw “an animal with a huge neck like a swan. And the movements made me suppose the best to have a body like that of a crocodile “.Although as yet no evidence has been found. IN 2006 on April seventeenth an ammoniums photographer sent in pictures of the creature in the lake to the El Cordillerano newspaper along with a note that read “It is not a twisted tree trunk. It is not a wave. Nahuelito has shown his face. Lake Nahuel Haupi Saturday April 15 9o’clock. I’m not giving out my personal information to avoid future headaches.” Estamates of Nahuelito’s size ranges between fifteen right up to one hundred and fifty feet. Witnesses say that it mainly surfaces in summer months and that a sudded swell of water and a shooting spray indicate it is about to surface. There was also a report of the argeninan navy chasing an unknown object for eighteen days but they never found out what the strange object under the water was and was repoted on Feb sevententh 1960 in the newyork post. There are many theories about the monster as well as the usual theory of the Plesiosaur some think that Nahuelito could be the result of neculer experiments carried out by the Germans during the Peron regime in the 1950’s.
Selma lurks in the waters of Lake Seljordsvatnet near Telemark Norway. The lake is twelve miles long and one and a half miles wide and is icy cold as the lake was formed by glaciers during the last ice age. Selma is said to resemble a giant anaconda with humps on her back and to be between thirty to forty five feet long. Sightings go back as far as 1750 but the first recorded sighting wasn’t until 1880 when an unnamed woman was said to have fought off an attack and cut Selma in half and the lower half was supposed to have slinked back into the water but the top half was left to rot on the shore.
In 1918 on a summer morning a Karl Karlson went to a bridge at sandnes to fish. He claims he saw something strange in the water advancing quickly towards him. It got to close and he left his fishing gear and ran. He described the creature to have a head similar to a horse which it held about three feet out of the water. It came within one hundred and fifty feet of the bridge and sank back into the lake then disappeared. That same summer Torgil Bjorge said that he found large fleshy chunks floating in the water with he said looked like they were from a serpent like creature. Then on another occasion he said he saw a crocodile like creature on the beach but it quickly vanished behind a pile of stones.
In 1920 a MR Elvind Fiodstuft went to Sinnesodden to fish on a warm calm day. He reported that he saw a strange creature starting to make its way out of the lake and on to the cliffs. When Elvind came towards it slipped back into the water. He described it as being between fithteen to twenty meters long and having a narrowing head like a crocodile; it was black in colour and had fin like feet at the front right below its neck. He didn’t see any eyes or mouth but said it twisted its head from side to side and seemed to be listening.
In 1996 two fishermen were out on the lake at dusk. Then suddenly the silence was broken by a commotion in the water. A horse like head attached to a ten foot neck rose from the water. The monster stared at the two petrified fishermen from only eight inches away before slowly sinking back to the water.
One early morning on June 2001 a father and son who chose to remain nameless from Oslo. Decided to take a stroll down to the lake to swim. Once they were about one hundred yards away from the beach they noticed something strange. At first they assumed it was just a fallen log or maybe some old car tyres that has washed ashore. One they reached about thirty feet from the beach they could see that it was a giant snake at the water’s edge. As it turned towards the water the son stumbled and made a noise that got the snake’s attention. It turned and looked directly at them for around ten seconds before turning back and slinking back into the water. They described it as having a head as big as a calf’s and an enormous body at least thirty feet long and was as thick as a car tyre.
Sine 1977 Jan ove Sundberg president of the global underwater search team has been hunting for evidence of Selma’s existence. He and his team have used sonar and hydrophones. In August 2000 he lead a team along with two molecular biologists on a mission to capture the creature take some samples tag it and realise it back into the lake so they could track it and learn more about it. The planned to do by using a trap called comet (co-operative monster eel trap) which was specially designed and made by innfsik. Comet was about eighteen feet long and fithteen feet in circumference and has a cone like opening where they expected Selma to enter. They used live fish as bait. Unfortunately they came back with an empty trap but they did get some interesting sonar readings of something large in the water but they never confirmed what the readings were.
There have been many theories to what Selma may be ranging from a giant cat fish, eel or even a prehistoric giant anaconda, although reptiles are not capable of surviving the icy temperatures of the lake. The global under water search team think it’s only a matter of time before they discover the truth behind the mystery of Selma.
Ogopogo also known as Naitaka lives in the waters of Lake Okanagan in Canada at the centre of British Columbia. Lake Okanagan is around eighty miles long extending from the North of Vermont p the south of Penticton. There have been many sighting thought the length of the lake but in particular in the south of Kelowna near Peachland. The creature is thought to be a Basilosaurus which looks like a long serpentine whale like creature with a narrowing head similar to a crocodile. Some say maybe a large lake sturgeon.
Perhaps one of the earliest mentions of Ogopogo was in 1860. The story is of a man leading horses that were swimming across the lake near Rattlesnake Island. When they were dragged under the water by an unseen force it was not until sometime later this was attributed to the myth of Ogopogo. It is also said that natives thought the lair of N’ha-a-itk meaning lake demon was in a cave under Squally Point near Rattlesnake Island, They would never canoe near this area without some sort of offering. It is said that a storm would brew and N’ha-a-itk would rise out of the water to claim another victim.
The first recorded sighting was in 1872 by a Mrs. John Allison who saw the creature at a place called Sunny side, At first she thought it looked like a log or a huge tree trunk floating on the lake but notice it was going against the current not with it. She estimated it to be around fifty feet long and three feet wide, this is similar to many sighting of logs that then seem to come to life and swim away. But more recently in the year 2000 Daryl Ellis a marathon swimmer reported that not one but two large creatures for a short time during his swim. As he was passing Rattlesnake Island he said that one was between twenty to thirty feet long and the second one was smaller. They followed him for some time then disappeared. When he neared floating bridge in Kelowna a creature with a large eye the size of a grapefruit came within nine metres of him to get a closer look.
In 2009 the remains of a strange creature was found on the shore of the lake by a Dan poppoff while he was kayaking in the lake. The carcass measure about a metre long which he kept in his freezer. Two unnamed scientist took DNA samples to do tests. So far the results have not been publicly announce some think it may have been the remains of a beaver but will we ever really know.
Lake Champlain is one hundred and twenty five miles long and is shared between New York and Vermont in Quebec Canada. In like a few of the lakes between America and Canada is home to its own lake monster. Champ has been described as a Plesiosaur. Sightings go back before white settlers arrived. There are two Native American tribes that live near the lake the Iroquois and Abenaki tribes. Who had tails about a monster in the lake they called it Tatoskok.
The lake itself was named after a French explorer Samuel de Champlain who in 1609 was the founder of Quebec and had the lake named after him. Legend has it that while he was fighting the Iroquois on the bank of the lake he spotted a strange creature. However this sighting is not officially recorded anywhere.
The first reported sighting was not until 1819 in the Plattsburgh publication on Saturday 24th July. A Captain Crum who claimed to have seen the monster the previous Thursday about two hundred yards away while on board a Scow on Bulwagga Bay. He claims that that morning he saw a black monster about one hundred and eighty seven feet long with a head similar to a sea horse that reared about fithteen feet out of the water. He also said the monster had three teeth eyes the colour of peeled onions a white scar on its forehead and a red ring around the neck,
In 1883 by a Sheriff Nathan H Mooney who claimed he saw a giant serpent that was around twenty five to thirty feet long and was about fifty yards away from him. He said that he was sp close he could see round white spots inside its mouth. After this in the late nineteenth century a P.T.Barnum put up a reward of $50,000 for anyone who could bring him the carcass of Champ so that he could display it in his world’s fair show.
A more modern sighting was in 1977 by the Mansi family as they were having a picnic on the shore. The Mansi children were playing in the lake while Mr. Anthony Mansi went back to the car and his wife Sandra watched the children. She described seeing turbulence in the water that made her look more closely and then a huge creature with a small head long neck and a humped back surfaced. When Anthony returned he got the children out of the water. Sandra managed to take a photo of the creature which she kept n a photo album until a friend told her to show it to an investigator. The photo bares a striking resemblance to the fake one that gynaecologist Kevin Wilson took of the Loch Ness monster in 1934.
You may be forgiven to thinking that tails of enormous squids or what could have been dubbed the kraken pulling boats under the ocean and claiming many a victim where just storeys told by sailors and in books. But unlike the other water dwelling monsters we have looked at this one exists. The colossal squid or Mesonychoteusthis hamiltoniwas first identified as early as 1925 when two colossal squid arms were recovered from the belly of sperm whale. But still very little is known about them. The first fully intact specimen was found on February 22nd 2007 by newzealand fishermen in Antarctica’s Ross Sea. It had got caught in the nets while trying to feed on a Patagonian toothfish. It took two hours for them to haul it on to the boat. The squid’s eyes measure around twenty five centimetres in diameter which are thought to be the largest eyes in the animal kingdom. They also have the largest beak of any squid and twenty five rotating hooks in two rows on the ends of their tentacles. In total it measured approximately 33 feet long about the same length as the giant squid but it weighted 1089 pound which makes it significantly larger. The giant squid only has suckers on its tentacles not rotating hooks. . It is believed the scars found on sperm whales could be caused by the colossal squid as it would be very capable of wrestling something this big and would also be strong enough to pull a small boat below the surface.
The species found was a male. In the squid family the female usually dwarfs the male so scientist believes there may be something much bigger out there.
Just think if something this big could remain unknown for so many years and we still do not know how big they can grow to or exactly where they live. What other monsters could exist down there.
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