Water Cryptid Discussion

Posted by: Craig Woolheater on July 22nd, 2015

Cryptomundian springheeledjack adds to the discussion of this Cryptomundo post: Fourth of July Champ Sighting:

dconstrukt–Water cryptids are my favorite and I have spent a lot of years reading anything and everything on them. I’ve also spent some quality time in bodies of water, just watching and learning about ecosystems and fish behaviors…not to mention mammals and so on.

I was predominantly in the mammal camp for a long time. The surfacing for air didn’t bother me so much because many marine animals, especially things like crocs and turtles barely have to expose anything more than their nostrils to breathe, which could easily be missed by those on shore.

I ruled out reptiles until I ran across an article that talked about finding the presence of plesiosaurs in the antarctic–suggesting that they were capable of surviving in cold water climates. I haven’t turned up anymore on this front, but as we’ve come to accept the idea that land dinosaurs had much in common in with birds, perhaps long necked water dinos adapted in ways to mimic mammal abilities to survive in cold water climates.

In recent times I have begun to back away from the mammalian theory. As I said, I was a staunch supporter of it being a long necked seal type animal (in loch ness, there have been sightings where witnesses described hair on the animal they saw). However, I had an epiphany while at a zoo watching sea lions and otters. It struck me that both, as well as lions spend a fair amount of time at the surface in play and just plain ole swimming or getting from point A to B, and having observed sea lions off California, I realized that even though they would only have to extend their noses to breathe, their instinct is to stick to the surface. The only reason I’d consider for them staying hidden would be if that if they were under threat on a constant basis which has never been the case at Ness or any other loch / lake I’ve read about. Simply, mammal behavior throws it way down on the totem pole for culprits in the long necked lake critter.

However, I’ve recently come to wonder if what we’re dealing with is some sort of amphibian. Amphibians share a lot of characteristics with land and water critters. And having observed frogs, they don’t have to extend much above the water to breathe either. And with the land accounts of Ness, an amphibian could certainly come ashore. True, amphibians tend to hibernate in cold weather, so that’s a strike against it, but in dealing with some 20- + foot critter with a long neck that eludes common sightings, perhaps there are more pieces to the puzzle before we get an answer 🙂

It is a case of where most of the animal types have some of the characteristics necessary to fit the bill, but each of them also has something in its make up that keeps it from fitting the bill entirely. So, my contention is that obviously there’s something more at work in the adaptation department (unless you want to get into the supernatural realm…which I don’t 🙂 ), that we haven’t seen or taken into account.

I do know that there are enough reports around the world and consistently to make me believe there are unknown critters in the waters, of size and not presently represented by science. I remember Arthur C. Clarke saying that he was doubtful of lake monsters, but thought there was a much greater possibility of something similar in the oceans. I tend to believe him, but think it’s also possible that some of those unknown critters may well have made their way into lochs and lakes and built a population there.

Hope that simplifies things 🙂

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.


6 Responses to “Water Cryptid Discussion”

  1. cryptokellie responds:

    A few salient points;
    Plesiosaurs and other marine reptiles were not dinosaurs and did not share the affinity to birds as dinosaurs did so to project that they might have similar attributes as birds is unlikely.
    All long neck cryptid descriptions and photos cannot be of plesiosaurs for their neck vertebrae did not allow them raise and crane their necks in the swan-like fashion so often described and illustrated. I believe that all long neck descriptions and photos can be dismissed as either misinterpretations or hoaxes. The major long necked photographic evidence are highly suspect at best. The Loch Ness “Surgeon’s Photo” has enough controversy swirling around it that it cannot be regarded as positive evidence. There is no way to tell just what the “Gray Photo” represents. The “Mansi Photo”, while also being an actual image of something out in the water is problematical in that Ms. Mansi waited years to come forward, cannot recall the actual location and there are no negatives or other images of such an incredible event. It is true that several species of plesiosaurs have been found in what would have been cold-water climates in the Southern Hemisphere. Umoonasaurus and others lived in southern Cretaceous waters which were undoubtedly cooler that normal plesiosaur habitats. But the fact mostly young specimens were found is leading scientists to infer that the animals were migrating between warmer and cooler climes for feeding and other bio-diverse reasons. Still, it is tantalizing that marine reptiles could navigate cooler water if they wanted to.
    Having eliminated long necks and I believe that multi-humped and undulating sightings are of wave effects, we’re left with the most common lake cryptid sighting – the “Up-turned Row Boat” which at some point sinks slowly under the surface and sometimes surfacing again. I feel that these events are the ones worth truly investigating, Hopefully, someone will be able capture a detailed video of such an event and things will be made much clearer.

  2. Goodfoot responds:

    Good comment, springheeledjack. It makes sense. Beyond my opinion that there is probably enough evidence to believe that lake monsters do exist, I don’t have much of an opinion.

    If that seems out of character, well, you don’t know me.

  3. Goodfoot responds:

    springheeledjack, I forgot to ask: have you heard of any Chessie sightings in recent years?

  4. springheeledjack responds:

    I agree that the Surgeon’s photo, which was the flagship for Nessie has a lot of back and forth. I have read that his “deathbed confession” was also hoaxed. That pic just never quite looked right to me, so I just shoved it aside.

    I disagree on the long necks being hoaxed or misidentifications. Many of the accounts where a head and neck is seen, there’s too much detail, or even movement seen from the witnesses. And that’s just the lake sightings. There’s a large amount of sightings of sea going long necks as well. With plesiosaurs as a past critter, it’s certainly not impossible something didn’t evolve down the ages.

    I did find it interesting that Loren Coleman made a comment here that always stuck with me. In some past post he stated that in the UK most people bought into the Nessie and its like as a plesiosaur type animal, while crossing the ocean, over here the long necked seal was the more popular suspect. I never did get out of him where that information came from or why that was so, but I found it interesting.

    Goodfoot–I know of Chessie, but I haven’t heard of anything recently. On the other hand, I think that water monster sightings don’t always make national news as they once did. I would try checking out seamonsters.org or theshadowlands.net for more info. That’s a good thought, though. Nessie and Champ and Ogopogo get all of the press these days, but there are actually many lakes and lochs around the world that have Nessie type critters. There are places in South America–I only mention that continent because many of the bodies of water supposedly containing critters lie along that northern parallel–I find that interesting too.

    As for your opinion, it’s all good. This is one of those fringe areas where everyone’s got their own ideas, and they’re all valid–swimming cryptids have been my passion since I was a kid, but there’s all kinds of cryptids that people get into. Everyone seems to have their fav’s. I’ve been dabbling more with BF these days, but I think that has a lot to do with the fact that exploring and looking for BF is closer to my home than traveling to hunt for Ogogopogo or Champ…and Ness just isn’t reachable yet…

    Bottom line: keep an open mind without pinning yourself down to one idea and keep hunting and investigating.

  5. PhotoExpert responds:

    springheeledjack–As always, your input is well respected and much appreciated by your fellow Cryptomundians.

    Goodfoot–I keep up with Chessie sightings because I live in that region. There have not been any reported sightings recently. However, I did see a seal while fishing in the Chesapeake Bay, which is a very rare sighting. Also, I saw some wild commotion in the water while fishing but it was a large fish or small mammal feeding that was very fast and that I could not positively ID.

    I would like to mention that the only video footage of Chessie was studied and analyzed by scientists and their conclusion that it was not an inanimate object. Which means it was a living, breathing animal. Quite interesting. Some theories suggest that it was an anaconda that was on a ship from South America and dropped itself in n the Chesapeake Bay while the ship came into port.

    If I hear of any reports, I will post them here.

  6. Goodfoot responds:

    Thanks, PhotoExpert. Some time ago – 35 years or a little more, I head of a seal attack in the Pamlico Sound in NC. For all who might be unfamiliar with it, it’s a huge sound, and you’ll have no trouble finding it on a map. It’s the water between the Outer Banks and the mainland.

    A member of a large and well-known family in that area, whose last name is MIDGETT, got badly mauled by a seal in the Sound. That’s correct: “Seal Mauls Midgett in Pamlico Sound”!!




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