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Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Mystery: The Prehistoric Sea Creature Brigade


This entry for this month’s daily blog post series is a birthday gift to my dear sister. I love you sis. Thank you for your endless support and love.


Today’s entry is going to be a lot different than any other mystery I’ve ever covered today as it’s not an “official” mystery per-se. Rather, it’s a compilation of several—31 to be exact—cryptids that almost all sound alike (only one doesn’t). They’re what I call the Prehistoric Sea Creature Brigade. They aren’t connected by anything other than the fact they’re all aquatic cryptids. So let’s stop this rambling and dive into the mysteries of Nessie, Bownessie, Bessie, Tessie, Hessie, Chessie, Mjossie, Messie, Pressie, Cassie, Issie, Illie, Mussie, Kussie, Cressie, Maasie, Elsie, Teggie, Muckie, Pepie, Charlie, Sharlie, Brosnie, Lizzie, Lizzie, Caddy, Ogopogo, Igopogo, Manipogo, Winnipogo, and Champ.


The Stories


Okay, let’s lay down some small ground rules. Given that there are a ton of cryptids here, I won’t be covering them all in-depth like I would if I had given myself more time. Rather, I’ll be doing a brief summary of them all. As for why I’m doing this, I simply wanted to do something different. After all, variety is the spice of life and it’s not often I get to try out different formats on this blog. So if you like it, leave a comment telling me. If you dislike it, I still encourage you to say so. While I doubt I’d do this often, I would like to get feedback on if the format is good or not.


On one final note: I used the Cryptidz Wiki as my main source for this information, so most of the credit goes to them.


Nessie‌ - Loch Ness, Scotland


Also known as the Loch Ness Monster, Nessie is one of the most iconic cryptids in the world. Her reputation exceeds her by a country mile and her story is over 1,000 years old, with the first sighting having taken place sometime between 565 and 580 A.D. She is described as having rubbery skin that is blackish-grey, but some have said that it’s brown. Size wize, Nessie is said to be about 20-feet-long (or around 6 meters). She has a serpentine body, which goes for almost every other creature on this list. Where Nessie varies from others is that some have said she sports small horns or a crest; while these additions aren’t something everyone sees, they still help to give the creature a bit of an identity of her own.


The most unique trait that, as far as I know, is exclusive to Nessie is that she can survive on land. One report stated that she was seen moving on land back to Loch Ness using her flippers (of which she had four). This is quite interesting given that this would indicate some sort of evolutionary difference from the Plesiosaurs of old to what they could be nowadays—at least if we’re to assume that Nessie is in fact real.


Then there’s the infamous Surgeon’s Photo (or rather photos as there were two of them; the second showed the “creature” submerging). One of the greatest hoaxes of all-time, I would say that this photo has still become a staple of cryptozoology because it helped to catapult Nessie into the public eye, something that she’s managed to never leave. While some believe that the revelation that the photo was a hoax to be a hoax in and of itself, you’ll be hard pressed to find people that do think the picture is legitimate. Though I leave that up to you to decide.


In the modern day, Nessie is still seen from time-to-time. While she isn’t a cryptid that people see every day as she swims to the surface to lounge around, she’s still a major part of Loch Ness’ reputation. However, in spite of this, some are of the opinion that Nessie’s population is either dangerously small or potentially extinct and that what eyewitnesses have seen are merely logs and other debris. Wakes left by boats have also been blamed on some sightings.


Bownessie‌ - Lake Windermere, England


Also known as the Lake Windermere Monster and the British Nessie, Bownessie isn’t quite as famous as his Scottish counterpart. According to the Cryptidz Wiki, the size of Bownessie is similar to Nessie, being serpentine and measuring roughly 20 feet in length (or 6 meters). His appearance isn’t quite the same though, being a lot darker in appearance. Now as for his first sighting, that was in 2006, though I find it odd that a creature like this suddenly sprang up out of nowhere. As such, I’m inclined to suspect that there may have been other sightings prior to this.


Regardless, there is, to date, no definitive proof to debunk the existence of Bownessie, though I’m doubtful if disproving his existence would matter. It’s said that he’s made appearances in children’s storybooks and there are little toys made of him.


‌Bessie‌ - Lake Erie, Canada/United States


The first reported sighting of “South Bay Bessie” took place in 1793; the most recent having supposedly been in 1995 (if the Cryptidz Wiki is to be believed). Unlike the other two we just went over, Bessie is larger, being upwards of 30–40 feet in length (9–12 meters). However, the reported creature from 1995 was said to be larger, being upwards of 50 feet in length (or 15 meters).


The coloration of the creature is similar to that of Nessie, being greyish. Appearance wise, just like every other cryptid on this list, Bessie is serpentine, being similar to that of a Plesiosaur. However, the final sighting mentioned above stated that it was also similar to an Ichthyosaurus.


On one final note: the Huron Lagoons Marina has offered a $100,000 reward if anyone captures Bessie, dead or alive.


Tessie‌ - Lake Tahoe, Nevada/California


One of the much more famous creatures on this list, Tessie—also known as Tahoe Tessie—first appeared at some point during the mid-19th century and has been seen ever since. Described as being serpentine with a color that ranges from turquoise to black, Tessie is big. Very big. Though her size ranges so much, I’m flabbergasted that this can even be one creature.


Tessie is said to range from being 10 feet (3 meters) to 80 feet (24 meters) in length, with a body that’s as wide as a barrel. This potentially means that there is actually a breeding population in Lake Tahoe, which could be substantiated by the claims from natives who state that Tessie resides in an underwater cave. However, with no proof for this, Tessie remains as elusive as any other one of these cryptids. Perhaps one day, we will try to infiltrate her lair and see what the truth to this legend is.


Hessie‌ - Hessafjorden, Norway


This is one that I got from Michael Newton’s “Encyclopedia of Cryptozoology”, so all credit goes to him.


Hessie is said to be a massive creature, measuring 80–100 feet (24–30 meters) in length. It has brown skin and a massive snake head with a square dorsal fin that’s 15 inches tall. While there were sightings in the late 1990s, Hessie has remained quite elusive and the true identity of the behemoth of a cryptid is mysterious as ever.


Chessie‌ - Chesapeake Bay, United States


This is one of those cryptids that makes me absolutely resent writing about cryptids. This creature is known for having been the subject of a photographic hoax (much like the infamous Surgeon’s Photo) and as such, you can bet your bottom dollar that most of the sightings that have occurred surrounding Chessie is all thanks to some stupid dingbats having decided to throw a toy dinosaur out into the water, snapped a picture of it, then stirred up excitement that a marine reptile was out and out, popping up to say “hello” every now and then.


So in essence: Chessie is in my eyes the product of some stupid kids doing things for attention, but hey: that’s besides the point. Let’s give this fiendish fish some attention to see if there’s more to it than just that.


Chessie is said to be a lot like any other sea serpent: it has a serpentine body and resembles a plesiosaur. However, some say it’s closer to a snake than a plesiosaur. Some also state that the creature has fins while others say it lacks them. In the way of its size, the general estimates are between 25–40 feet (7.6–12 meters), though some have put it at only being 12 feet (3.6 meters) long.


Whether or not Chessie truly exists is up for debate, but I personally cannot stand creatures that are subject to hoaxes like the case of Chessie. It muddies the water and soon, everyone is seeing the creature; critical thinking goes flying out the window like Mothman to a flame. Oh well, that’s life, so let’s move onward.


Mjossie‌ - Laje Mjosa, Norway


I got this information from the Encyclopedia of Cryptozoology. Mjossie is described as a serpent of “incredible magnitude” that was killed by an arrow that struck its eye. Really incredible. Reports of this creature date back as far as the 16th century. Whether or not this creature—if it even existed—is still alive is a mystery in and of itself.


Messie‌ - Lake Murray, United States


Described as an extremely aggressive creature, Messie is said to have once dragged a boat over a mile across a lake and, in the process, caused a man to break his wrist. Lovely creature; it’s extremely similar in appearance to Nessie, being serpentine in appearance. I cannot find any information on its exact size, but it’s presumably similar to the aforementioned Nessie.


Messie is a lake monster which shares many similarities to Scotland’s Nessie, although it is said to be more aggressive in nature. It has been reported as somewhat serpentine in appearance, but is believed to be a plesiosaur like the creature from Loch Ness


Pressie‌ - Lake Superior, Canada/United States


This is certainly one of the weirder looking creatures on this list: sporting a head like a horse, a tail like that of a whale, and a long neck, Pressie is like a creature straight out of the game Spore. The creature is said to be upwards of 75 feet in length (22.8 meters) and has sightings that date back to the 19th century. One of them claims that the creature attacked a man who went overboard and that it attempted to constrict him, leading some to believe that the creature is in fact a type of snake. Others have said that it’s simply a lake sturgeon. Neither theory has ever been confirmed and to date, Pressie remains one of many Great Lakes cryptids.


Cassie‌ - Casco Bay, Maine


Nicknamed by legendary cryptozoologist Loren Coleman, Cassie is a massive sea serpent, measuring somewhere between 60–150 feet (18–45 meters) in length. It’s said to be capable of swimming ridiculously fast. Appearance wize, it’s serpentine, but its coloration has varied; some say it’s dark green, others say it’s brown, but the most common coloration is black.


Unlike most sea cryptids, Cassie hasn’t been seen in a very long time—decades to be exact. As such, it’s assumed that it either migrated or has gone extinct.


Issie‌ - Lake Ikeda, Japan


Described as being “saurian” in appearance, Issie is reportedly black in color and 16.4 feet in length (just barely under 5 meters). However, this size apparently catapulted up to 98.4 feet (or 30 meters) in 1991 (with the original sighting mentioned above having been in 1978) when she was captured on video. If this was indeed the same creature, Issie’s size was amplified by six times in the span of 14 years.


Illie‌ - Iliamna Lake, United States


Also known as the Iliamna Lake Monster, Jig-ik-nak, and Gonakade, Illie is said to reside in the village of Illamna, which is in Alaska. It’s said to be between 10 and 30 feet (3–9 meters) in length and has a square head. It’s also said to have caused a few deaths. One theory as to its identity is that it’s a white sturgeon, but others believe it to be a new type of aquatic animal.


Mussie‌ - Muskrat Lake, Canada


Originally called the Hepaxalor, Mussie is described in one of two ways. Some say that it has two horse-like ears at the top of its head, an extra ear in-between, a unicorn-like horn, and three eyes. The much more traditional and far less fantastical version states that Mussie resembles a seal or walrus. Coincidentally, it’s believed by many that Mussie is in fact a type of pygmy walrus due the claims of it having silver-grey fur and tusks. However, this has never been proven and to date, Mussie remains as elusive as she has ever been.


Kussie‌ - Lake Kussharo, Japan


Said to be 30–60 feet (10–20 meters) long and widely said to be dark brown in color, Kussie is… weird. It’s the only one of these creatures I’ve found that is said to have made any sort osound, in this case: “strange grunting or clicking noises”. It’s also claimed that those who see it become uneasy, disturbed, or feel “icky”. This would indicate the creature has some sort of supernatural power or that it’s just really, really ugly. Whatever you believe, it’s definitely weird to read that given how many other creatures that look like Kussie are seen all around the world.


Cressie‌ - Crescent Lake, Canada


I can’t find any information on the coloration of this creature, though it’s said to resemble a very large eel. It also sports the names “Woodum Haoot” and “Haoot Tuwedyee”. The former name translates to “Pond Devil” while the latter translates to “Swimming Demon”. It also definitely earned that name as the creature was widely feared by those that lived near the lakeside, but for what reason, I cannot tell you. However, given the reputation of some lake cryptids, it’s likely that Cressie is an aggressive creature that doesn’t like anyone treading into its territory. So watch where you swim!


Maasie - River Meuse, Belgium


This creature is actually wildly different from the others on this list. It was described as a 3 foot (0.9 meter) long crocodile-like creature. It was seen once on August 6, 1979 and then never seen again. It’s been suspected of having been either an escaped or discarded pet crocodile.


Unlike the other stories, I got the information here from the Cryptid Archive and It’s Something Wikis.


Elsie‌ - Lake Elsinore, United States


Sometimes called the Lake Elsinore Monster or Hamlet, Elsie is a creature that’s so inconsistent in its appearance, I’m amazed nobody has ever called it out. This creature has been described as being a 12 foot (3.6 meter) long “saurian-looking creature” with humps to a 15 foot (4.5 meter) long “whale-like creature” to a massive 100 foot (30 meter) long creature with a 30 foot (9.1 meter) long tail. That third sighting is also what made the creature famous.


The inconsistencies don’t stop there though. Some say the creature has humps while others say—as stated earlier—it resembles a whale. Others also say that it has an alligator-like head. Whatever the case may be, Elsie is either a shapeshifter or every one of these creatures is different from each other.

Teggie‌ - Bala Lake, Wales


Described as resembling a “large pike”, Teggie is said to be as long as “three dogs swimming together”. This is certainly an odd way to measure something, but who am I to judge?


Information on Teggie is scarce, but there is apparently a rumor that the creatures are in fact a group of seals that were left to live in the lake after World War I; there had been a plan to use them to bomb enemy ships, but it was abandoned and the creatures now reside in Bala Lake.


Muckie‌ - Lakes of Killarney, Ireland


A creature of Irish legend, Muckie is simply described as a “lake monster” with no discernable appearance. Whatever the creature may be is a mystery, though the Cryptidz Wiki shows an image of a monitor lizard on Muckie’s page. As for how the legend became a reality, a sonar scan in 2003 showed a large object moving in the water. As a result of this, some now believe that Muckie is no mere legend.


Pepie‌ - Mississippi River, United States


Pepie is a creature that has been seen everywhere from Wisconsin in the northern U.S. to the Gulf of Mexico in the south. In spite of this, I cannot find any information on what it looks like or its estimated size. Due to this, I’m going to hazard a guess and say it looks a lot like Nessie, Messie and nearly every other creature on this list. Though that’s merely my educated guess.


Charlie‌ - Charleston Lake, Canada


There’s supposedly a creature living in Charleston Lake which is reportedly capable of hissing; it can create waves that are upwards of 4 feet (1.2 meters) in height as it swims. Appearance wise, it’s said to resemble a dinosaur, but that’s about all I can find. This information was obtained from the Encyclopedia of Cryptozoology by Michael Newton.


Sharlie‌ - Payette Lake, United States


Sometimes called “Slimy Slim” and “The Twilight dragon of Payette Lake” (dang, that second is sick), Sharlie is said to be between 30–40 feet (9–12 meters) in length with a “dinosaur-type head”, pronounced jaws, and oddest all: shell-like skin. The creature was first seen in 1920, but hasn’t been seen since 2002. As such, it’s possible the creature, whatever it may have been, has long since died.


Brosnie‌ - Lake Brosno, Russia


Described as both a “dinosaur” and a “dragon monster”, Brosnie has been seen in the 10-mile-long long lake known as Brosno. Although the creature is largely believed to just be a fairy tale, some are insistent that the creature is real.


Lizzie‌ - Loch Lochy, Scotland


With quite a few sightings to her name, Lizzie is one of two Lizzie’s that hails from Scotland. With this creature, we have an animal that sports a dark spine and a paler underside that is 30–40 feet (9–12 meters) in length. Despite these numerous sightings, Lizzie has remained elusive.


Lizzie‌ - Loch Oich, Scotland


The second Lizzie is said to reside in Loch Oich (which feeds directly into the aforementioned Loch Lochy), which is separated from Loch Ness by two bodies of water: River Oich and Caledonian Canal. Although Nessie is said to sometimes have a reputation for being territorial, Lizzie is a lot more…

Well, Scottish.

Okay, to anyone who is Scottish: I’m sorry. Let’s move on from my snarky remarks and instead discuss what this beast looks like. Lizzie is said to be either equine in appearance or to be a dog-headed serpent, sporting two humps, a snake-like neck, and black skin. It’s also said that Lizzie has a horse-like mane. This is, of course, coming directly from the individual who wrote the Cryptidz Wiki page, but you’d be astounded how often it’s said that sea monsters are more or less water horses.


Where Lizzie seriously differentiates from other lake creatures is in its behavior. This creature has the status of being a child killer, having supposedly dragged a child down into the depths of the lake after it climbed atop one of its humps—or its spine—while it was resting near the shore line. Given how Nessie is capable of walking on land, I have to wonder if maybe, by some chance, the creature was Nessie and she had decided to take a trip to Loch Oich.


Oh well, whatever. Lizzie’s sightings have existed since the 20th century and while she isn’t as famous as Nessie, the legend of Lizzie lives on. As for whether or not the child killer part is true, I cannot verify this, nor can I verify if this Lizzie is the same Lizzie as the one we discussed above.


Caddy‌ - Cadboro Bay, Canada


Also known as Cadborosaurus and Cadborosaurus Willsi, Caddy is a creature that’s said to be serpentine in appearance that sports flippers and hair on its neck. Its head is akin to that of a camel’s. It’s quite large, being 40–70 feet (12–21 meters) long. As a final note, it’s said there have been over 300 sightings of Caddy—which is quite a lot when you consider that quite a few of the creatures on this list have barely 10 on record (at least from what I can tell).

Ogopogo -  Lake Okanagan, Canada


I always thought this name sounded like something you’d take to treat a medical condition. Oh well, sometimes called Naitaka (which translates to Lake Demon), Ogopogo is a palindrome of a cryptid and one of the most famous lake cryptids in the world. Its reputation rivals that of Nessie in some cases, but his existence is as mysterious as any of the other creatures on this list.


The one other thing I’ll put here is that a carcass was allegedly found in 2009. However, I’ve not been able to find any conclusive results as to what the creature is—or rather, was. Like most Globsters, it’s probable that this was some sort of decomposed creature, but I don’t want to say for certain that it was something. So if any of you know, do let me know.


Igopogo - Lake Simcoe, Canada


Sometimes called Kempenfelt Kelly, Igopogo is said to sport a dog-like head and has been speculated to be related to the Dobhar-chu. It’s also said to have been seen “basking in the sun” for extended periods of time, which has led many to believe it’s capable of breathing air.


Manipogo - Lake Manitoba, Canada


Egregiously referred to as Winnipogo by some, Manipogo is said to be 30 feet (9.1 meters) long with wrinkly skin akin to that of an elephant. It’s said to resemble a dinosaur and is one of the few cryptids I’ve heard of that allegedly had a corpse sold to a private collector—in this case, a 45 foot (13.7 meter) long carcass was sold for $200,000 to a private collector. However, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police found no evidence of this. In March of 2003, a $1,000,000 reward was offered for anyone who could capture Manipogo, but this reward has yet to be claimed.


Winnipogo - Lake Winnepegosis, Canada


No, this is not Manipogo. I swear, if someone tells me otherwise, I’m going to scream—not that I already don’t want to on a daily basis simply because I wake up.


Described as resembling a dinosaur with a horn on the back of its head, Winnipogo is said to resemble the long extinct Zeuglodon. No evidence of this creature’s existence has ever been found, but it has been sighted for the better half of a century. However, a relic was discovered that depicted the creature, but it was later lost in a fire. Feels really bad, man.


Champ - Canada/United States


The odd one out on this list, Champ is one of the most famous lake cryptids in the world. Being described as Nessie’s brother, Sporting a similar coloration to his Scottish sister, Champ has been described by some as being a lot more aggressive than most lake cryptids. Size wise, he’s been placed at 25–30 feet in length (7.6–9.1 meters).


Sightings of Champ persist into the modern day and his popularity among locals in New York and Vermont has resulted in him becoming a massive draw for tourists. Of every cryptid we went over on this little list, Champ is easily the most widely celebrated, which really earns him his nickname.


Theories


1. They’re real


For our first theory, we have the idea that each of these creatures—along with others like them—are in fact real. This theory is, naturally, the one that many believers in cryptids subscribe to; their belief being that, due to the numerous reports of creatures like the ones we went over, there has to be something lurking in the waters of our planet. However, because so many pictures and videos have returned as being inconclusive, your guess is as good as mine (let alone anyone else) as to whether or not there’s any truth to this theory.


2. Some are real


The second theory is something of a centristic perspective; that some of the creatures are real while others aren’t. There’s no true combination of the creatures listed above—along with a plethora of other creatures like them—that can be tied to this theory. Many skeptical-believers (for lack of a better term) subscribe to this theory.


3. None of them are real


The third and final theory is that none of these creatures are real. While certainly convincing given the idea of how much time has passed, plus the ever-changing world we live in, there are many who argue that the numerous sightings through the years suggest otherwise. Whatever the case may be, I’ll leave this theory up to you to decide.


My Take


I’ve always thought it’s possible that a creature such as these survived into the modern age—or at the very least a creature similar in appearance. After all, a creature like the Coelacanth has been found to have survived into the modern day, so it begs the question: could a Plesiosaur have also survived? In my eyes, and as I just said: yes.


With that said, I don’t think that every creature on this list is legitimate—just as I don’t think that every supposed Plesiosaur sighting is legitimate. Given that some of these creatures lack any sort of passage out into the ocean, their food source is strictly in that lake. I find it extremely difficult to believe that a creature like this managed to survive in what is essentially a landlocked lake; let alone no evidence to suggest that they have any sort of population in the lake. Such a factor would undoubtedly result in a skewed fish population in the lake. However, if there is some sort of path to the ocean or a larger body of water, I do think it’s plausible.


That is, of course, just me. I know that many find the concept of a living Plesiosaur to be a nonsensical one at best. I fully understand that and heck, I acknowledge that it’s unlikely. Though I do think that the number of reports from around the globe of creatures like this, let alone throughout the ages, makes me stop and wonder: what exactly are people seeing? Is it a mass delusion of sorts or has something from a time long since gone managed to survive into the modern age? Personally, I think it’s the latter—at least in some cases.


Conclusion

As is the case with any mystery, I encourage you to draw your own conclusions. Whether or not these creatures are really living fossils is entirely on you to decide. So sound off in the comments below. Until tomorrow, thank you for reading.

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