I would like nothing more than the proof of various cryptids, alien civilizations, even alien visitors to be found. But that proof will come only through rigorous science and objective analysis, and by holding evidence to the highest standards of scrutiny. Born in south eastern Pennsylvania, i have found myself at one time or another living in Chicago, Cleveland, Raleigh-Durham, on the island of Kaua'i and finally landed on the Olympic Peninsula of Washington State. I have turned my hand to various professions from early work in 3d graphics to historic building restoration, carpentry and log home building to working in a bronze art foundry on the WWII Veterans Memorial. Currently I am a writer, script writer and working for a non profit organization called Empowerment Through Connection which is involved in equine assisted therapy for veterans, at risk teens and women.

Days are growing longer and summer is coming. Kids will be out of school and families will be planning their vacation get-aways. Where to go, where to go. Well…how about visiting your local lake creature.

Urquhart Castle, Loch Ness

Everyone has heard of Nessie, many people have heard of Mokolo Mbemebe, in the US people may know Champ, in western Canada there is Ogopogo. The list goes on. And on…but many of these require a degree of travel that in these days of budget conscious vacations it can be difficult to manage, but what if you could just pack up the tents or hitch up the camper and drive just a few hours with the hope of seeing a creature of a lost age?

Just a tally of lakes and large bodies of water around the world, excluding oceans, comes to 93 locations where lake and river creatures are said to dwell. And this is considered an incomplete list.

No fewer than nineteen American states claim lake monsters with California holding the record with four, followed by Minnesota holding fast with two, and New York and Vermont Have one each but both lay claim to “Champ” the Lake Champlain creature so give them one and a half each which brings the total to 25 bodies of water inhabited by unknown creatures.

Mussie of Muskrat Lake, Ontario Canada

Coming in a close second Canada reports a total of 18 creatures, with Ontario leading the pack with six reported lakes putting it in the lead over California, Quebec having four, Manitoba claiming two and the rest of the provinces claiming one each.

The African Nation of Zambia takes third place for reports with six reportedly inhabited lakes.

Llangorse Lake in Wales.

England claims four, unless you are Welsh, and then England and Wales each report two.

Scotland may lay claim to the most press for lake creatures, but comes in a distant fourth as far as numbers with only three reported lakes inhabited by unknown beasties. Tying for fourth place are Russia, Sweden, Republic of the Congo, and The Democratic Republic of the Congo.

photo by Rob Suisted of kayalers on the Waikato River on New Zealand’s North Island

China, Japan, Australia and New Zealand all claim two, and the rest can be found scattered across Germany, Iceland, Norway, and Turkey in the European regions. Ethiopia, Angola, Cameroon, Chad, Kenya, Tanzania and Zimbabwe across the African Continent. Argentina and Costa Rica in South America. Malaysia and The Philippines in the South Seas.

So no reason to feel bad that you can’t get off to Scotland to satisfy your lake creature¬† viewing needs, rest assured there is a lake monster near you waiting to attract your tourism dollars. Nessie may get the good press but that is no reason to discriminate against Issie in Japan’s beautiful Lake Ikeda, or Muckie in Ireland’s Lakes of Killarney, or Rocky on Wisconsin’s Rock Lake, or Lizzie in Lac Ducaire in Quebec.

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For more details on this list go to Wikipedia

And for anyone wondering, I refuse to use the term monster as I find it archaic and only spreads ignorance. IF any of these creatures exist, they are merely animals trying to survive. Calling them monsters only serves to spread fear and justify potential mistreatment. If there is a monster in that equation it is not them.

  • The Oshmar

    Taniwha isn’t the name of a creature per say, it’s kind of like the word ghost or fairy, it’s the name of a set of beings, we have way more than two in NZ with many names, they are spread out among oceans, rivers, lakes and even caves.