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? 😉
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.
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 Ikeda, Lake 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!