Of course the most famous Lake Monster in the world is that elusive Scottish rascal, the Loch Ness Monster.
But “Nessie” is not alone.
Lake Monsters are allegedly seen all over the world.
Lake Champlain, which borders New York, Vermont, and Quebec, is said to be home to a creature (or more likely creatures) named Champ. While working on my upcoming book Monster Hunters, I joined a team of cryptozoologists (people who study unknown animals) for a “Champ Camp” on the shores of Lake Champlain.
We looked, but didn’t find old Champ.
There are many more—practically any body of water bigger than a bathtub is said to be home to their own mystery animal.
Skeptics say that these creatures are myth, and sightings are nothing but overactive imaginations coupled with natural explanations like driftwood.
I discovered that in my home state of Wisconsin, we have a Lake Monster of note in Lake Pepin, which is found on the border between Wisconsin and Minnesota and is part of the Mississippi River. Lake Pepin is 2 miles wide and 22 miles long, somewhat similar in geography to Loch Ness.
A report of a large, unknown creature traces back to the late 1800s and several reports and a couple of blurry photos have followed over the years. A Lake City businessman has tried to solve the mystery (and drum up publicity for his tourist paddleboat, Pearl of the Lake) by offering a $50,000 reward in collaboration with the Lake City Tourism Bureau for undisputable evidence of Pepie.
So there you go—monster hunting for fun and profit.
If you want to go out to Lake Pepin and try to find the creature and cash in, you’ll want to read up on the case as much as possible. Pepie: The Lake Monster of the Mississippi River by Chad Lewis and Noah Voss (published last year) is the most thorough examination of the cryptid creature to date.
Tea Krulos is the author of Heroes in the Night and Monster Hunters: On the Trail With Ghost Hunters, Bigfooters, Ufologists, and Other Paranormal Investigators.