Are seamonsters real or are they just a figment of our imaginations?
Part of our storytelling tradition since men and women have sailed the seas, has included seamonsters. Legends, folklore, myths...or are they? Humans have explored less than 10% of the world's oceans but everywhere there seems to be a story about an elusive creature that inhabits the waters. There is an entire world beneath the surface, a world just waiting to be explored!
Seamonsters are mythical creatures who inhabit bodies of water across the globe. Recorded history of seamonster sightings dates back to Biblical times, but sightings have continued to occur up to and including modern times. Legend suggests that the seamonster evolved from early aquatic dinosaurs. Over 250 lakes and oceans worldwide are believed to be inhabited by seamonsters. Numerous sightings throughout time and across the globe have identified and corroborated a number of defining features and characteristics, but all agree that the seamonster is a fascinating, yet elusive, animal of the sea.
Seamonster accounts are found in virtually all countries that have contact with the sea or have large lakes. Seamonsters are believed to have evolved from the Plesiosaur, a large aquatic reptile that lived in the Jurassic to Cretacious Period. Ancient writers, including Catholic priests and even Aristotle, spoke of seamonsters living off the coast and devouring oxen on the shore. Roman writer, Plyne, told of squadrons of ships being beset by seamonsters in the Persian Gulf. Leviathan, the seamonster of the Old Testament, is described by Job as being fire breathing and serpent-like, with black scales. Various descriptions abound from the Norsemen of Scandinavian descent to the Iroquois of North America. Then there are the legends of Longwang of China, the four sea dragons who rule the four great oceans and live in palaces underwater feeding upon opals and pearls. Such stories all tell of similar creatures living in deep waters worldwide.
Seamonsters have been reported from every era of history and sighted in hundreds of lakes and oceans around the world. Physical descriptions and defining characteristics are remarkably consistent. Seamonsters are typically known for their size, strength, speed, and stealth.
~ The Greek word for seamonster is kampos.
~ Hippocampus is an Ancient Roman monster with the head of a horse, the tail of a dolphin, and flippers.
~ Seamonsters are typically gray, black, brown, and/or green.
~ They are serpent-like with uneven, wrinkled, scaly skin.
~ Seamonsters have long necks with rows of fins and a humped back. Some reports say they look like huge swans with high flexible necks.
~ The Chinese believe that the head of a seamonster is adorned with horns and whiskers.
~ They are known for their voracious appetites; European legends say that they come ashore at night to devour lambs, pigs, and at times sailors and ships.
~ Korean mythology suggests that seamonsters are benevolent creatures who bring rain and clouds. They are capable of understanding such complex emotions as devotion, gratitude, and kindness.
~ Length typically varies from 8 feet to 40 feet, with some reports of seamonsters reaching up to 150 feet long!
~ The girth of the animal is reported as being as wide as 20 feet.
~ One sighting claimed that the top of the seamonster's head was the same height as the ship's mast, while another said the head was 4 feet above water.
~ Reports claim that seamonsters are strong enough to pull people and animals to the depths of the lake or sea.
~ One report claimed that the seamonster pulled a small boat and its crew under the water.
~ Seamonsters are known for their great speed.
~ They swim vertically like a caterpillar at a remarkable rate of 30 miles per hour.
~ They propel themselves with an up and down motion like a mammal rather than side to side like a reptile.
~ While sailing in the South Atlantic, crew aboard the HMS Daedelus, a nineteenth-century warship, reported seeing a creature who maintained a steady course of 15 miles per hour.
~ Seamonsters are reported as having keen detection skills.
~ They make great effort to remain obscure.
~ They are elusive creatures but can be bold when necessary.
~ Seamonsters live in sea caves in deep, murky water.
Seamonsters have been consistently sighted across the globe. Legends abound as locals have affectionately named "their" seamonster and have even capitalized on the attention and allure of such folklore. According to country of origin, the following chart alphabetically identifies the most well-known seamonsters.
Africa: Mokele-Mbembe Congo River system. They are the size of an elephant and eat plants & vines.
Argentina: Nahuelito Monster of the Nahuel Huapi Lake at the foot of the Patagonian Mountains. These creatures surface only at night.
Australia: Bunyips lurk in swamps, billabongs, creeks, riverbeds and waterholes. They are the size of small calf or large dog.
Brazil: Yacamama have been spotted by indigenous people of South America who say these creatures inhabit the mouth of the Amazon River and nearby lagoons.
Canada: Caddy, Ogopogo and Memphre are mentioned in Native American folklore with current citings are recent as 2005.
China: Lake Tianchi Beast of Heaven Lake located in the peak of Beakdu Mountain.
Denmark: Sea Monk.
India: Ketea Indikoi who lives in the Indian Ocean near Sri Lanka. These are amphibious creatures who graze in the fields at night.
Japan: Kappa inhabit Japanese inland waters. These murderous frogs are strong and can communicate with everything.
Norway: Jormungand Seamonster from Norse mythology. This monster lays on the bottom of the sea meditating revenge against the Gods.
Russia: Brosno Dragonnear Andreaopol is said to have scared the Tator-Mongol army in the 13th century as they headed to battle, which saved the city of Novgorod.
Scotland: Nessie, probably the most famous of all seamonsters, was first sighted in the 16th century. Ceriean, of Gaelic folklore, was so large it fed on several whales.
Sweden: Storsjodjuret of Lake Strosjon has white ear-like flaps on its head. It is reported to be curious of boats and easily frightened by noise; sighted in the 1980s.
Turkey: Lake Van Monster has a reported sighting in 1995.
UK: Morgawr roams the North Sea near Falmouth; first sighted in 1906.
USA: Bear Lake Monster in Utah/Idaho, Champ in Lake Champlain, Gloucester Monster in Massachusetts, Chessie in the Monster in Massachusetts, Chessie in the Chesapeak Bay, Flathead Lake Monster in Montana, Lliamna in Alaska, Tessie in Lake Tahoe and the San lemente Monster in California.