Glamour girl of the the lake monster world, Nessie rakes in all the lake monster cred. We have a lot of love for the loch-dwelling Scot, but we think it’s high time the shy cryptid share the limelight. So who’s the top lake monster who is NOT the Loch Ness Monster?
Top Lake Monster Who Is Not The Loch Ness Monster Number 1:
Deep in the thick forests of the Democratic Republic of Congo, you may come across Lake Tele.
The water is a muddied, cloudy soup. Chock full of floating organic matter and highly acidic. Not the most inviting place for a dip. But a great place for a well-hidden cryptid.
But now, the swamp forests that surround the lake are gradually encroaching on its banks, slowly swallowing the almost perfectly circular lake.
Bad news for its most famous resident, the Mokele-mbembe.
In the Lingala language Mokele-mbembe means “one who stops the flow of rivers”.
There is some dispute as to whether or not this creature was traditionally believed to be a real flesh and blood organism or a spiritual entity.
But we’re including Mokele-mbembe as our Top Lake Lake Monster Who Is Not The Loch Ness Monster, because for the last two-hundred years reports of this mysterious water-dwelling creature have fascinated adventurers from all corners of the globe.
Many have gone in search of it, and not all of them have returned.
This Congolese lake monster is usually described as being a greyish-brown in colour. It has a body like an elephant, but a long neck and a small head.
Despite its weird appearance and huge size, the Mokele-mbembe is believed to be herbivorous. Local tradition states that the creature prefers deep water and lives in river bends.
In 1920, four adventurers on a botanical field survey funded by the Smithsonian Institute, died when their locomotive overturned in a heavily flooded area in which a local tribe had reportedly seen the creature.
Coincidence? Almost certainly.
Top Lake Monster Who Is Not The Loch Ness Monster Number 2: Ogopogo
Okanagan Lake in British Columbia, Canada is a large, deep lake with a surface area of 348km. Carved out by glaciers over the course of thousands of years, the lake is 232 metres at its deepest point.
This means there is plenty of room for a stranded lake monster to hide out for the unchanging epochs.
Or at least there was until the late-nineteenth century. At which time steam boats began regularly criss-crossing the lake and rudely awakened this Canadian lake monster.
The Ogopogo hadn’t been seen much before the steam ships turned up. This makes the Cannuck our Number 2 Top Lake Monster Who Is Not The Loch Ness Monster.
Although the Ogopogo is late to the party, compared to our friend Mokele-mbembe, what it loses in the antiquity of pedigree it makes up for in the scale of its sightings.
In 1926 thirty car loads of people allegedly witnessed the same appearance by the Ogopogo.
Witnesses describe the Ogopogo as resembling a sea-serpent. The lake monster is about 12-15m in length and got its name from a popular 1924 novelty song. The Ogo-Pogo: the funny foxtrot, which no doubt is an absolute banger.
However, First Nations legends have long referred to a lake spirit in the region called the N’ha-a-itk. The N’ha-a-itk is a supernatural entity with a fearsome reputation. Before crossing its territory travelers were expected to appease the spirit, by offering appropriate sacrifices.
In 2011 a video surfaced shot on cellphone which alleged to show the Ogopogo in the water.
But, due to the poor quality of the recording sceptics have called into doubt exactly what the video may reveal about the existence of this slippery lake snake.
Top Lake Monster Who Is Not The Loch Ness Monster Number 3: Champ
In 1977, Sandra Mansi was vacationing with her family at Lake Champlain.
Lake Champlain is 201 km body of water that extends from New York and Vermont into Quebec, Canada.
Eagled-eyes Sandra, spotted something sticking out of the water and quickly snapped a photo.
This photo is perhaps the most famous image of Champ, the Lake Champlain Monster.
Our mid-ranked Lake Monster Who Is Not The Loch Ness Monster has been capturing the imagination of holiday makers since at least the 1800s.
Reports of a monster up to 30 feet in length, with white spots in its mouth and ‘eyes like peeled onions’ even caught the attention of P T Barnum. The famed showman offered rewards for anyone who could bring him the monster, first in 1873 and again in 1887.
Mysterious tracks spotted by the side of the lake have led some recent investigators to suggest that Champ might in fact be a previously unknown member of the Crocodylidae family, to which modern-day crocodiles belong.
Whatever Champ might be, his legend has been drawing curious sightseers to the lake for almost two centuries and counting.
Top Lake Monster Who Is Not The Loch Ness Monster Number 4: Selma
In Norse mythology the lindworm is a huge wingless serpent.
Although its appearance varies slightly according to different traditions, in general the lindworm is said to be a scaly, snake-like monster. The monster crawls on its belly while dragging itself forward the help of clawed arms.
Admittedly an eczema-afflicted worm, slowly belly-flopping into battle might not be too terrifying for your average Norse warrior. But what if the lindworm were in fact a lake monster?
Some cryptid enthusiasts have made the leap. Which brings us to our next Top Lake Monster Who Is Not The Loch Ness Monster… Selma.
Selma is a large, snake-like monster who is reported to live in Lake Seljord, Norway. The first eye-witness accounts of the monster date back to the 18th century, but recent sightings have allegedly been caught on camera.
While some Selma fans think she is a lost dinosaur, others say she’s the origin of the lindworm legends.
Whether Selma is a lindworm having a bath, the legend of this mysterious northern lake dweller continues to delight and fascinate.
Top Lake Monster Who Is Not The Loch Ness Monster Number 5: Morag
Don’t think we’ve forgotten Nessie’s fellow Scot! Poor Morag is the ugly sister to her more famous compatriot, who is the undisputed belle of the lake-monster ball.
However, multiple witnesses claim to have seen this elusive lake dweller in a series of sightings dating back to 1881. Morag hails from Loch Morar, the fifth largest loch in Scotland with a maximum depth of over 300m.
In 1969, two local men, William Simpson and Duncan McDonall, were out on the loch in their boat, when they claim that they were attacked by an enraged Morag.
Morag may have been acting in self-defence, as the men believe that their craft may have accidentally struck the creature.
However, regardless of what might have provoked poor Morag to attack it appears that the struggle did not end well for her. While McDonall went for the monster with his oar, Simpson fired at her with his riffle.
At which point the creature slowly sunk back down beneath the lake, never to resurface.
The two men have described whatever it was they fought that day, as having rough skin, three dorsal humps and a head a food wide, which rose up 18 inches out the water. Like her North American cousin, Champ, Morag is reported as being about 25-30 feet long.