Lake Monsters, Sea Serpents and Lake Superior

Posted by: Craig Woolheater on December 2nd, 2005

Next Thursday, December 8, at 6:30 PM, the Great Lakes Aquarium in Duluth, Minnesota is hosting an interesting program, "Lake Monsters, Sea Serpents and Lake Superior", presented by Gonzo Science.

Gonzo Science, according to Jim and Allen Richardson, is a fusion, combining the rigorous thinking of the skeptics with more progressive and iconoclastic viewpoints.

While an article in today’s Duluth Budgeteer News says the presentation "will take a look at if Lake Superior has a lake monster, and if not, how is it different from other lakes that generate monster reports?"

“It will be a fun presentation that is grounded in science but still looks at edgy topics,” said Jim Richardson, one half of Gonzo Science.

“Lake Superior has scattered reports of sea serpents and lake monsters,” said Jim Richardson, whose presentation will include photos as well as reports on these supposed creatures.

“We won’t be coming down on either side — we’ll just be examining the evidence and photographs,” he said.

And though there is no specific myth about a lake monster in Superior, Richardson said there are some creatures in Lake Superior that might be mistaken for a sea serpents.

However, the following website claims there is a lake monster in Lake Superior, Pressie. The name comes from Presque Isle River where one of the better sightings occurred.

Known as Mishipishu (and variations thereof) to the area’s native people, the animal is depicted in pictographs at various shoreline sites, either as a spiky cat-like creature (its Ojibway name means "great lynx") or as a serpent (sometimes called by other names).

Modern sightings indicate a serpentine species up to at least 75 feet in length with a horse-like head on a longish neck and a bilobate (whale-type) tail. They swim in a vertically undulating fashion and are said to be dark green to black in color.

One of the other Great Lakes does have a lake monster legend. Lake Erie has a monster named South Bay Bessie. There are quite a few websites with info on this lake monster. Try some of these:

Monster Tracker

South Bay Bessie 

Lake Erie Monster?

And now, from this website comes a picture of a creature that I have heard about for several years, a baby plesiosaur that supposedly was found on the banks of Lake Erie. It was "found" by a taxidermist Pete Peterson and now sits in the Creation Evidence Museum in Glen Rose, Texas. Looks pretty convincing, if you ask me.


Of course, it is part of Dr. Ken Hovind’s Creation Seminar,  Part 3b Dinosaurs alive today.

Lake Erie Baby Lake Monster

About Craig Woolheater
Co-founder of Cryptomundo in 2005. I have appeared in or contributed to the following TV programs, documentaries and films: OLN's Mysterious Encounters: "Caddo Critter", Southern Fried Bigfoot, Travel Channel's Weird Travels: "Bigfoot", History Channel's MonsterQuest: "Swamp Stalker", The Wild Man of the Navidad, Destination America's Monsters and Mysteries in America: Texas Terror - Lake Worth Monster, Animal Planet's Finding Bigfoot: Return to Boggy Creek and Beast of the Bayou.

5 Responses to “Lake Monsters, Sea Serpents and Lake Superior”

  1. Lesley responds:

    I must get one of those little lake monster statues, they are adorable! It would look great outside in my fish pond. I would want my own lake monster, but I don’t live anywhere near a lake.

  2. Nessie-Chaser responds:

    One way that I conclude whether or not to look into reports of “lake serpents” is to
    find out if local Native Americans have sightings. Creatures such as Ogopogo, Champ, and “Ojibway” all have Indian
    Reports. Just my rule of thumb.

    See you in the field!

  3. Benjamin Radford responds:

    “Nessie-Chaser Says:
    One way that I conclude whether or not to look into reports of “lake serpents” is to find out if local Native Americans have sightings. Creatures such as Ogopogo, Champ, and “Ojibway” all have Indian Reports. Just my rule of thumb.”

    Nessie Chaser is wrong, at least in the cases of Champ and Ogopogo. It’s a common mistake, but neither Champ nor Ogopogo have “Indian reports” to support the stories of the creatures. There isn’t space here to explain why, but see my article on Champ in the July / August Skeptical Inquirer magazine, and the two-part articles on Ogopogo in the current (Jan/Feb 2006) issue. (In the case of Ogopogo, the native stories of the N’ha-a-itk water god are clearly myths, not “reports.”)

    It always pays to make sure your “Rules of Thumb” are valid before using them!

  4. CryptoInformant responds:

    The Lake Superior monsters are not the same animals. One may be a Smilodon or other sabre-tooth cat, the other may be the whale known as Basilosaurus.

    QUICK QUESTION: Do wolves live in South Carolina?

  5. Isaac responds:

    It sounds pretty weird. But it does remind me of a river monster in Africa, the Mamlambo. The Mamlambo has a horse-like head and a fish-like body, people who live by the river say it killed seven people. Maybe they are the same species.

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