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The Daily Utah Chronicle

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Cryptid of the Week: Nessie and the Lake Dinos

Original Cartoon by Rohit Singh
Original Cartoon by Rohit Singh


This week: you know them, you love them, they are the least likely to actually exist — it’s the lake monsters!

Last week, we talked about the Sasquatch family, and the week before that, we went over The Mothman.

This week let’s go over the one cryptid I don’t really believe in — all (or at least most) lake-dwelling monsters. These monsters include the Loch Ness Monster, the Bear Lake Monster, the Vermont Lake Monsters, the Flathead Lake Monster — the list goes on and on.

Usually thought of as a dinosaur in nature, lake monsters are reported to be a large serpent or plesiosaur-style of amphibian that are much larger than the average fish. Like Sasquatch, there isn’t just one — there are several breeds and descriptions all over our big blue Earth.

Lake monsters like Nessie can be found all over, and most lakeside towns have their own myths and legends about some big fish under the waves. In all honesty, it makes sense that so many people feel like there is a creepy monster living in the depths of the water. I’ve been in McCall Lake on nothing but a floaty tube, and that was spooky. Before we even had technology like sonar, just think about what our ancestors thought might be in every body of water.

Even Utah has their own lake monster. (Well, kinda. It’s described as a crocodile-bodied horse or a dolphin-like beast seen near Antelope Island. Some even say that it’s a wyvern-esque creature, but that’s likely something completely different).

There is a horrendously long list of things that the Loch Ness monster might be misidentified as — snakes, birds, wood, more wood, maybe even a lost elephant. But I don’t think lake monsters are misidentified, I just don’t think they are feasible, mainly due to their diet. Since a lake has such a fragile ecosystem, if a large meat-eater like Nessie was introduced to that lake or existed there for generations, the creature would eventually either eat all the fish and die or permanently alter the ecosystem. A lake is only so big, which is why I believe in sea creatures more than something like Nessie.

The only movie I can think of that features a lake monster is the 2007 movie “The Water Horse.” Named after the book of the same name, which itself is named after a water-dwelling horse-like thing based in Scottish folklore, and its people-drowning sister the “Kelpie.” But that’s a whole other monster to tackle. 

So in conclusion, lake monsters probably don’t exist, but that shouldn’t stop you from fearing water. The ocean will kill you — stay on land and the thousands of sea, lake and river beasts won’t bother you. Sound good? See you next week.


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