The Cryptid Zoo: Lake Monsters

Dozens of lakes around the world are supposed to house "monsters" of various sorts. Water cryptids from places other than the ocean are collectively called "lake monsters" because very few of these creatures are reported from rivers or ponds, and even in the case of river monsters, such rivers often connect to lakes with a history of monster sightings.

Many lake monsters are said to look similar to sea serpents. Picture copyright 2006 by Jamie Hall.
There are two main categories for these creatures. Some lake monsters look much like sea serpents or Nessie, Scotland's Loch Ness Monster, with a long, serpentine body, perhaps with paddles or humps, and a head that is shaped somewhat like that of a horse. These creatures all seem to be related to each other, and they were first explained by cryptozoologists as living plesiosaurs, primitive reptiles, though today the concensus has switched to zeuglodons, a weird, primitive whale that is supposed to be extinct. Some other lake monsters seem even more dragon-like, and these often have supernatural powers attributed to them.

On the more normal end of the spectrum, some lake monsters seem to resemble animals that we are more familiar with, such as giant turtles or giant crocodiles. The creatures in this other category are quite varied, linked only by the fact that they do not resemble sea serpents. Creatures in this group include the gigantic, hairy monsters like seals with canine faces that are said to reside in Lake Simcoe and Muskrat Lake in Ontario, Canada, and the school of twenty-foot mystery fish that are reported from Iliamna Lake in Alaska.

Most lakes that are supposed to house monsters are in remote areas, are very big, or both. Iliamna Lake is over a thousand square miles in area and more than a thousand feet deep. Unless these monsters have the ability to waddle onto land, draining the lake in question would answer the question of whether a monster was in it once and for all, but researchers are understandably reluctant to do this. Even when such an option isn't too expensive, it would destroy a valuable ecosystem and, if there is a monster, kill it. Most cryptozoologists are afraid of making a new animal extinct just to prove that it had once existed.

You can find out more about Lake Monsters from the following sources:

Benjamin, R.W. Lake Elsinore Serpent - Elsie

Blackman, W. Haden. The Field Guide to North American Monsters New York: Three Rivers Press, 1998. Pages 39-47, 49-50, 54-59, 64-78

Blake, Polenth. The Dragon Stone - Dragons of Mythology and Fantasy

Bradley, Michael. More Than a Myth: The Search for the Monster of the Muskrat Lake.

Brookesmith, Peter, ed. Creatures from Elsewhere. London, Chartwell Books, 1989. Pages 41-53

Brown, Charles E. Sea Serpents: Wisconsin Occurrences of these Weird Water Monsters in the Four Lakes, Rock, Red Cedar, Koshkonong, Geneva, Elkhart, Michigan, and Other Lakes.

Brown, Charles E. & Hendricks, Richard. Weird Wisconsin: Lake Monsters

Campbell, Elizabeth M. & Soloman, David. The Search for Morag. London: Tom Stacy, 1972.

Clark, Jerome and Coleman, Loren. Cryptozoology A-Z. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1999. Pages 84-86, 113-116, 131-134, 149-150, 170-171, 174, 192-193, 228-229, 235, 248-249

Clark, Jerome. Unexplained!. Detroit: Visible Ink Press, 1999. Pages 260-271, 279-282

Coleman, Jerry D. Strange Highways: A Guidebook to American Mysteries & the Unexplained. Alton, Illinois: Whitechapel Productions Press, 2003. Pages 135-136, 184, 187, 192

Coleman, Loren & Huyghe, Patrick. The Field Guide to Lake Monsters, Sea Serpents, and Other Mystery Denizens of the Deep

Coleman, Loren. Mysterious America: The Revised Edition. New York: Paraview Press, 2001. Pages 12-14, 26, 29, 81, 83-96, 169, 309-311

Dinsdale, Tim. Project Water Horse: The True Story of the Monster Quest at Loch Ness.

Finnigan, Joan. Witches, Ghosts & Loup-Garous: Scary Tales from Canada's Ottawa Valley. Kingston, Ontario: Quarry Press, 1994. Page 81

Godfrey, Linda S., Hendricks, Richard D., Moran, Mark, ed. & Sceurman, Mark, ed. Weird Wisconsin: Your Travel Guide to Wisconsin's Local Legends and Best Kept Secrets. New York: Sterling, 2005. Pages 116-117

Harrison, Paul. Sea Serpents & Lake Monsters of the British Isles

Holiday, F. W. The Goblin Universe

The Hunt for Lake Monsters
Would you like your nonfiction book indexed
in The Cryptid Zoo? Ask if you can send a
review copy.

Juliano, Dave. Sea Serpents and Lake Monsters

Keel, John A. The Complete Guide to Mysterious Beings. New York: Doubleday, 1994. Pages 297-316

Kirk, John. In the Domain of the Lake Monsters.

Krystek, Lee. Lake Monsters of North America

Lake Monster Sightings

Lake Van Monster

Lenihan, Eddie, ed. Meeting the Other Crowd: The Fairy Stories of Hidden Ireland. Pages 91-102

McCormick, Bob. The Story of Tahoe Tessie: The Original Lake Tahoe Monster. Kings Beach, California: Tahoe Tourist Promotions, 1994.

McEwan, Graham J. Mystery Animals of Britain and Ireland. London: Robert Hale, 1986. Pages 11-16, 77-118, 196-202, 206-209, 211-212

Menger, M. Lake Monster Traditions: A Cross-Cultural Analysis.

Moran, Mark & Sceurman, Mark. Weird N.J.: Your Travel Guide to New Jersey's Local Legends and Best Kept Secrets. New York: Barnes & Noble, 2004. Page 108

Newton, Michael. Encyclopedia of Cryptozoology: A Global Guide to Hidden Animals and Their Pursuers. Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Company, 2005. Page 4, 11, 14-15, 20-22, 24, 27-30, 34-35, 38-41, 54-60, 68, 72, 75-77, 83-85, 88-102, 106-107, 113, 118-120, 122, 124, 126, 128, 130-133, 139, 140-141, 146-148, 150-152, 154-165, 172-174, 176, 178-180, 182-186, 188-192, 194, 196-197, 201-206, 208, 211, 219-222, 226-229, 231-232, 236-258, 263-275, 277-283, 285-286, 288-289, 291-292, 295-297, 299-300, 302, 308-311, 313, 315-317, 321, 322, 324, 328-331, 336-337, 341-346, 348-354, 357-363, 365-366, 368-369, 371-377, 379, 382, 384, 391-395, 397-403, 405, 407-411, 413, 415, 418-426, 428-451, 453-455, 458, 461-462, 464, 466-469, 472-475, 477-480, 482-489, 491-493, 495-496, 507, 509

The Online Lake Cryptid Directory

Randolph, Vance. We Always Lie to Strangers: Tall Tales From the Ozarks. Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press, 1974. Pages 71-74

Rath, Jay. The W-Files: True Reports of Wisconsin's Unexplained Phenomena. Black Earth, Wisconsin: Trails Books, 1997. Pages 27-35

Rife, Philip L. America's Loch Ness Monsters

Roesch, Ben S. The Cryptozoology Archives: Lake Monsters

Rose, Carol. Giants, Monsters and Dragons: An Encyclopedia of Folklore, Legend and Myth. Santa Barbara, California: ABC-CLIO, 2000. Pages 175-178, 274

Russell, Davy. When Lake Monsters Attack!

Salmonson, Jessica Amanda. Phantom Waters: Northwest Legends of Rivers, Lakes and Shores. Seattle: Sasquatch Books, 1995.

Shughart, Willie. North American Lake Monsters

Steiger, Brad. Out of the Dark: The Complete Guide to Beings from Beyond. New York: Kensington Books, 2001. Pages 80-89

Sundberg, Jan. Trapping Selma.

Weidensaul, Scott. The Ghost with Trembling Wings: Science, Wishful Thinking and the Search for Lost Species. New York: North Point Press, 2002. Pages 152, 156-165

Wikipedia, The. Lake Monster

Home | Creature Maps | Cryptozoology Organizations | Cryptozoology Links | Cryptozoology Books & Films | Link to Me | Guestbook | Monster Mania

The text on this page is copyright 2005 by Jamie Hall. Please use proper citation if you are using this website for research.