From the immortal Loch Ness Monster … to mysterious and dangerous freshwater beasts ... Here are 16 of the strangest legendary lake monsters
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The Beast of Lake Champlain (sham-plane) is said to inhabit that lake, which is bordered by New Vermont, New York, and part of Quebec (keh-bek). More than 300 sightings of Champ have been reported. Those go back to the times when the region was ruled by Native American tribes. Initial sightings by Europeans can be found from the early 17th century. Descriptions can vary widely. Some accounts describe the creature measuring anywhere from 5 feet (1.5 m) to more than 180 feet long (55 m). While there are sightings of the cryptid said to have been caught on video, no images have ever been verified. Many cryptozoologists conjecture that Champ could be gar-fish or sturgeon, both of which live in the lake. That might help explain why some reports describe the creature as a horned serpent. Another possibility is that Champ is a marine reptile like a plesiosaur, which somehow escaped going extinct.
#4 The Irish Crocodile
Depending on the source, this animal can resemble an otter or a dog. It’s also been described as being half-fish and half-dog, with the hindquarters of a greyhound. One detail that stays consistent is its habitat. This creature lives in the water, and has sleek black fur with protective qualities. Also known as Dobhar-chu (doe-bahr-choo), it’s been reported to live in the depths of Irish lakes and rivers since ancient times. Many accounts describe the creatures as having large paws used for grabbing prey and dragging them into the water. They are especially aggressive toward dogs and humans. And they can move fast, whether in the water or on land. Some accounts claim the beasts will chase a human for 20 miles (32 km) over rough terrain. Sightings continue to be reported in the 21st century.
#3 White River Monster
Sightings of this critter have occurred in the White River in northeastern Arkansas (ar-ken-sah). While initial sightings date to 1915, many locals think the monster was around during the time of the Civil War. It’s been described as having the face of a catfish and grey, wrinkled skin like an elephant. Eyewitnesses say the White River Monster is around three cars long and one car wide. Notable sightings from the 1930s and the 1970s indicated that the monster made noises that sounded like a cross between a horse’s neigh and a cow’s moo. Three toed tracks measuring 14 inches long (360 mm) were discovered on a nearby island that were allegedly made by the beast. Did you know that the Arkansas State legislature created an official refuge for the monster in 1973? Located within an area of the White River, it’s illegal to harm the monster within the refuge.
#2 The Morag
While this Scottish sea monster was first documented around 1887, it’s not as well known as that more famous cryptid in Loch Ness. The Morag is found about 70 miles away (113 km) in Loch Morar (mora). The creature’s appearance presents a bit of a paradox. It’s been described as resembling a mermaid. But it’s also said to look like a demonic creature whose presence foreshadows doom. More recently though, the Morag's description has matched that of Nessie with accounts referring to it as a serpentine creature. The best sightings of this cryptid occurred in 1969, when two men accidentally collided with it while in their boat. The men described it as having three humps, a brown coloration, and an estimated length of some 30 feet (9 m). Despite expeditions to locate the Morag, no definitive evidence of the creature has yet been discovered.