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Sea/Lake Monsters through the ages.

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posted on Oct, 13 2010 @ 05:15 PM
As I was going to do a segment on sea/lake monsters in this weeks ATS Euro (unfortunately cancelled – get better soon Nef & Silk (and hopefully they’ll fix your broadband!)) I thought, why not start a thread instead. More people can be involved, I can put my opinions across clearer, and I’m not tired yet. And I have something much better to talk about next week.

So, starting with thein monsters of old; bringing down ships and dragging people off into lakes to eat them. There’s a lot of folklore in this, it’s pretty deep (no pun intended) and it’s always something I’ve been interested in, whether from my dinosaur fascination (currently wearing a dino t shirt. Get me) or from the process of debunking, I don’t know. I do like all of the different things they’re put down to. Some are truly amazing.

Folklore, I think, is an important, engrained part of every culture. We all know of stories from times passed that have survived to today, even though they aren’t exactly scientifically matched with our generation. In folklore, these ‘creatures’ and sightings have some similarities, some differences. For instance an ‘Eachy’ (reported in Lake Windermere in 1873 and Bassenthwaite in 1973) is typically a name for a creature which is humanoid; whereas we now class these ‘monsters’ as the more commonly thought of three humped, serpent like creature. So where did the opinions change, and why did they change?

Back in the day, such cryptids could be put down to wizards and enchantments or magic (and have been), they have been said to ‘haunt’ the lakes as ghosts, and they have been known as kelpies (for those who don’t know, a kelpie is a lake/loch monster which pretends to be a horse when leaving the water to trick tired travellers on to its back, which it then drags into the lake and eats – leaving only the liver). People back then won’t have known about dinosaurs, but may have found skeletons; and were definitely very superstitious – so if they see something they can’t explain for any one of many reasons, it would be put down to a monster. A lot of folklore and tales such as these could also be put down to keeping children away from water-sides to prevent drowning.

In the UK itself there is a distinction between the types of creature sighted or reported, especially in medieval times. In Wales (land of the dragon) the creatures are in fact more dragon-like, whereas in England and Scotland (there are a lot in Scotland) they seem to be more serpent-like, what would be typically thought of.

I’ll mention a few examples. Nessie is an obvious contender and can’t possibly be missed out of this subject. The first recorded sightings were in 565AD, and right up to the present day, really. Nessie has been seen walking across roads with animals in ‘her’ mouth, in the water, with 3 humps and a swan like neck a huge amount of times, and is probably the most famous of all, if not of all cryptids. The problem with Nessie, is that she is too famous. Sightings generate tourism, tourism keeps people in jobs, photos get media attention… you see where I’m going. People jump on the bandwagon, and it’s always difficult to take others word as gospel. Especially on topics like this. Plus in 2003 the BBC did a sonar search and found nothing; which doesn’t necessarily mean there isn’t anything there, it just shows that we really have not much either way – but less on the positive side.

Lake Windermere has its own Bownessie, which is a mini-Nessie, who attracted some attention in 2006 when it created some big ripples and scared a man with a 3 foot wave. It was apparently humpbacked and objects were clearly visible under the water, and yet there have been inconclusive searches for these too.

Morag, in Loch Morar gave two fishermen a bit of a scare in 1969 by ramming their boat, causing them to shoot it. They claimed it was brown, with 3 humps and was around 25-30 ft long, with a serpent like head. Morar isn’t surrounded by a road, and is pretty hard to get to, so who knows? Maybe there would be more sightings if it was as accessible as Loch Ness.

Iceland has a ‘worm’ in Lagarflját that is has had consistant sightings from 1345. It is said to be 300ft long, and sometimes coils up on land as well as living in the water. Legend dictates that it is seen rarely, and so when it is it bodes great news. I’m not sure when it was last seen, but that could be telling us something, eh?

Ireland has a creature called Muckie in the Lakes of Killarney; which, I’m not going to go into great detail about. Mainly because there is no basis in folklore, and it has been used in an attempt to generate tourism to the area (unsuccessfully) after a solid form showed up on some sonar in 2003 while people were researching fish. It might just be me, but I think that tells you something.

Norway, Sweden and Russia also have some of their own stories; the one from Russia is fantastic – it has scared armies to death, eaten soldiers and their horses, capsized boats and fishermen; being blamed for boat and people disappearances and my favourite, eaten a WWII German plane. Brosnya, (Броснйа – I am so sorry if that’s wrong) I salute you.

Okay, so lets get down to the nitty gritty here. We could say that the historical evidence and frequency of these sightings from so many different places is proof enough.
That it could easily be a previously thought of extinct creature like a plesiosaur; although that comes with its own problems, like it needing to surface for air, it being cold blooded in temperatures >5*C, what it eats being so big and the physiological incapacity for it to raise its neck as the sightings suggest. People have hit back at that though, calling convergent evolution (where separate lineages show the same biological trait) by a trapped creature, or even giant newts (giant is the right word) or invertebrates.
Or we could say that yes, it does grab our interest, but there could be (and are) many other explanations.

I mean, what’ve we got here? Animals in the water – otter, big fish, seals swimming together, shoals (on sonar), deer; we can say boats causing waves, reflections causing mirages, the light shining in the wrong way into your eyes – all of these could be a cause, and we haven’t even got on to the underwater volcanoes and gas emissions.
And these are all sort of natural, human error explanations, discounting the blatant hoaxes and viral advertising which have rocked this subject in the past; as well as the sightings usually coming in clusters, which fade out and rise up over time (do I hear a bandwagon? I suppose it’s better than a bus…). People have even claimed that it is the same metaphysical occurrence that causes us to see ghosts and black dogs.

And what about the ‘Bloop’ and ‘Slow Down’ noises? (If you haven’t heard these, go to wikipedia and have a listen. They were recorded in the ocean (a ocean, not sure which) by the NOAA in the late 90’s and still haven’t been fully explained to this day. I’m probably going off topic slightly though, because they’re not exactly considered to belong to anything – never mind sea monsters or whatever!)

Either way, the sightings have neither been confirmed or denied, completely proven or debunked; and so, the interest and the publicity for these sort of tales continues on to capture our attention. And I think, until there is a solid answer, the sightings and the interested parties (such as me) will continue to dig and hope that one day we’ll know.

I doubt it though.

If you’ve gotten this far, thanks for taking the time to read this through. I didn’t want my work to go to waste, but I’m pretty sure the debate would be livelier, and probably more eloquently put on the Euro show.
I haven’t really said much to put an idea in anyone’s head, but it’s a collection and a starting point in case anyone interested wants to research it more.


(P.S. - Sorry about any typos/grammar problems etc. I'm now tired and just want this written up and away with. They won't be changed, unfortunately. I hate them as much as you do, trust me. It's this laptop!)

posted on Nov, 1 2010 @ 08:21 AM
Hi ayana.

Long time no speak.

I like to believe these monsters are based on real creatures but the details may have been embelished over the years. I suppose i buy the prehistoric creatures that were on the way to extiction theory. This would explain why they are few and far between and why they seem to display dinosaur like characteristics in some cases. Aswell as why we no longer see them. R.I.P nessee

This brought to mind the Giant squid legends, where they would come up out of the deep and capsize whole boats. After watching a few programs on the humbolt squid and seeing how agressive they are when there is food on the go. Its not too much of a leap of the imagination, to picture something thats just way bigger in scale.
Scientists are convinced theres bigger squid than those giant ones that wash up now and again.

So although a lot of these creatures do sound like something straight from a fantasy book, i think it adds a certain romanticism to the tales. Tales which could have just been boring dinosaur stories, and they definately mirror the cultures and early beliefs of the folks that started the legends.

Great thread

edit on 1/11/10 by KrypticCriminal because: (no reason given)

posted on Nov, 1 2010 @ 08:34 AM
reply to post by Ayana

Great thread OP, very interesting read. Thank you.

Not sure if you are referring to monsters only in Europe or not. Canada had its famous creature sightings as well.

Check out Ogopogo. Here.

posted on Nov, 1 2010 @ 03:20 PM
reply to post by Rhain

Thank you.

It was just Europe I researched because it was for the show, which is the Euro version. But thanks for the link! I'll check it out.

posted on Nov, 1 2010 @ 03:50 PM
That Swedish lake worm thing looks promising. There's a few underwater videos of it too, clearly showing some long, white work-like creature that just floats around.

Apparently there's decisive video of a bunch of Cadburosauruses too somewhere along the BC/Alaska coast. Stupid Discovery Channel bought it though and we have to wait until next year for a new episode of an overdone show about Alaskan crab fishermen to be able to see video evidence of an amazing species of British Columbia sea serpent.

posted on Nov, 2 2010 @ 05:58 PM
Kryptic! Hellow!! I didn't even notice you'd replied to this... Durh.

How you doing, mateyy?

posted on Nov, 2 2010 @ 05:58 PM
Dimitri: There are videos? Wow, I didn't realise that.Clearly didn't research into this as much as I thought I had LOL! I'll be sure to have a look for those. Thanks!
edit on 2/11/2010 by Ayana because: Double post so changed to reply...

posted on Nov, 2 2010 @ 06:12 PM
reply to post by Ayana

Great thread and well researched!

Hopefully we can get back to this on the show.

Again well done.

posted on Nov, 2 2010 @ 06:32 PM
Love the thread. Great read. I'm a sucker for lake/sea monsters. I'm sure that deep in the oceans and uncharted trenches lay creatures we can only imagine.

posted on Nov, 3 2010 @ 06:29 AM
reply to post by divinetragedy79

I agree. We know nothing about the depths really, and so we shouldn't! We don't belong down there. I always get annoyed when sharks get killed because they eat people. We shouldn't be allowed to kill something for doing what IT does in ITS home.

Silk: We never even got to it on the show! Haha.

posted on Nov, 3 2010 @ 06:53 AM
how about the lambton worm?

"The story revolves around John Lambton, an heir of the Lambton Estate, County Durham, and his battle with a giant worm which had been terrorising the local villages. The legend is associated with a curse on the Lambton family and it is thought the story dates back to the 12th century.
John Lambton’s encounter with a giant ‘worm’ took place one Sunday morning when he skipped going to church, to go fishing in the River Wear. What he supposedly caught was described as being about three feet in length, although some version of the story the creature is much bigger, and resembles a salamander or snake with legs. Some think it might have been a lamprey. As the story goes, the worm grew to enormous proportions that it could wrap itself around a local hill several times. This place is still known today as Worm Hill, although I know of no modern day reports of this cryptid.
Bram Stoker was believed to have based his book, ‘The Lair of the White Worm’ on the legend of the Lambton Worm.

The song itself dates back to 1867, and is in the Mackem dialect of the North East of England. This part of England was part of Scotland fruther back in its history, and given it’s close proximity to the Scottish border, has many similarities to the Scots language.
The version below has some of the more difficult words translated."

edit on 3-11-2010 by fooks because: (no reason given)

posted on Nov, 3 2010 @ 11:27 AM
reply to post by Ayana

Im doing great, thanks for asking.

Hows yourself?

I deleted my profile off facebook otherwise i would have talked to you sooner. Too much hastle from people i dont really know anymore and all that. Its not all its cracked up to be.

I dont want to troll your thread so u2u me and let me know how ur doing. Whats this ATS Europe thing anyways? First ive heard of it but then i havent been on here for ages.
edit on 3/11/10 by KrypticCriminal because: (no reason given)

posted on Nov, 3 2010 @ 11:56 AM
reply to post by fooks

Oooooh! That's sort of local. I've never heard of it before. Strange


posted on Nov, 3 2010 @ 03:36 PM
reply to post by fooks

I remember reading about this one. Right before I finished your post, fooks, I somehow knew you were going to relate it to the book/movie "lair of the white worm". Thanks for reminding me about this one.

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