Over 250 lakes worldwide are the reputed homes of large unidentified creatures, which are perhaps the most famous in all the annals of cryptozoology. One cannot even consider the pursuit of unknown animals without conjuring up images of Nessie, Champ or Ogopogo, and not a year goes by when sightings of these unique, freshwater anomalies are not reported by the mainstream press.
These animals have been seen throughout Asia, Europe, Africa, North and South America, as well as numerous islands dotting the continent of Oceania. Although there are lake monsters of all types and sizes, the archetypal description is that of a large, saurian creature with a thick, almost whale-like, body and a long tapering neck, which culminates in a small head. The head is most often reported as being snake or horse-like, although numerous descriptions have also used seals, dogs or even slugs as points of reference.
The first recorded encounters with these land-locked beasts come from as far back as the European Dark Ages, with even more ancient accounts arriving from Africa, Asia and South America. These creatures have been chronicled in Native American legends, Biblical lore, Norse Mythology, historical records and ancient petroglyphs. In the modern era there are photographs, film footage and eyewitness reports by the truck load, all substantiating the existence of these elusive creatures.
Lake Monsters are loathed by the naturalists who hope to legitimize their work by removing the academic stigma of a “monster” from their adopted body of water. They are adored by the tourists who flock yearly to many of these remote locales in the hopes of catching just a glimpse of one of these unique mini-leviathans… and they remain one of the last great zoological enigmas on the planet.