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Some Fishy Findings Regarding the Monsters of Russia’s Lake Labynkyr

Posted by: Karl Shuker on April 22nd, 2014

Almost 9 miles long, 2.5 miles wide, and up to 260 ft deep in one particular section, Lake Labynkyr in far-eastern Russia‘s Yakutia (Sakha) Republic is not only a large but also a very remote body of icy-cold freshwater. It is not frequently visited by outsiders, but those hardy local hunters that have braved its location’s inhospitable climate have sometimes returned home with stories of formidable aquatic monsters inhabiting its chilly depths – stories that date back as far as the 19th Century. Some tell of a dark-grey beast with an enormous mouth that has allegedly devoured their dogs when they have leapt into the lake to retrieve shot ducks. Others speak of a black, long-necked, snorting creature with a snake-like head that preys upon geese and reindeer.

Burbot. Lota lota.

Thanks to the intriguing findings of a team that visited this mysterious lake last month, however, the true nature of its supposed monsters may be very different from the accounts noted above, but no less interesting either.

Further details can be found here on my ShukerNature blog.

Karl Shuker About Karl Shuker
My name is Dr Karl P.N. Shuker. I am a zoologist (BSc & PhD), media consultant, and the author of 20 books and hundreds of articles, specialising in cryptozoology and animal mythology. I have a BSc (Honours) degree in pure zoology from the University of Leeds (U.K.), and a PhD in zoology and comparative physiology from the University of Birmingham (U.K.). I have acted jointly as consultant and major contributor to three multi-author volumes on cryptozoology and other mysterious phenomena. I am the Life Sciences Consultant to The Guinness Book of Records/Guinness World Records (Guinness: London, 1997-present day), and was consultant to Monsters (Lorenz Books: London, 2001), as well as a contributor to Mysteries of the Deep (Llewellyn: St Paul, 1998), Guinness Amazing Future (Guinness: London, 1999), The Earth (Channel 4 Books: London, 2000), and Chambers Dictionary of the Unexplained (Chambers: London, 2007). I appear regularly on television & radio, was a consultant for the Discovery TV series Into the Unknown, and a question setter for the BBC's quiz show Mastermind. I am a Scientific Fellow of the Zoological Society of London, a Fellow of the Royal Entomological Society, a Member of the Society of Authors, and the Cryptozoology Consultant for the Centre for Fortean Zoology (CFZ). I have written articles for numerous publications, including Fortean Times, The X Factor, Paranormal Magazine, FATE, Strange Magazine, Prediction, Beyond, Uri Geller's Encounters, Phenomena, Alien Encounters, Wild About Animals, All About Cats, All About Dogs, Cat World, etc. In 2005, I was honoured by the naming of a new species of loriciferan invertebrate after me - Pliciloricus shukeri.


2 Responses to “Some Fishy Findings Regarding the Monsters of Russia’s Lake Labynkyr”

  1. PoeticsOfBigfoot responds:

    When you say “mega-burbot,” do you mean one of the fish you wrote about, or another, similar species?

  2. Karl Shuker responds:

    I was thinking about extra-large specimens of the known burbot species, i.e. Lota lota.



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