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Tales of Monsters From the Deep

Dirk Vander Ploeg's picture

A diver conducting an investigation of Geirþjófsfjörður believes he may have found evidence of a sea monster living in the fjord.

Árni Kópsson told Vísir that he sent a deep sea camera into the bottom of the fjord to record what may be in one of the craters recently found there by the Marine Research Institute a few years ago. Apart from fish and shrimp, Árni says he saw something else.

"There was some kind of creature that you couldn't see really well," he said. "Something that was quick to make itself scarce when you got near it."

Þorvaldur Friðriksson, an expert in monsters, who accompanied the trip, says that the purpose of the investigation was to gather evidence for sea monsters in the area. Þorvaldur has collected monster stories from all over the region, which is famously rife with tales of sea monsters.

Not all of these stories are very old, he says. In fact, there have been recent sightings made in the Arnarfjörður area, which is where Geirþjófsfjörður is located.

Þorvaldur considers it likely that at least one sea monster lives in the craters. The craters themselves are about ten to fifteen metres deep, and are located about one hundred metres beneath the surface of the water.

Guðrún Helgadóttir, a geologist at the Marine Research Institute, said that such craters are common around the country. The usual cause of them, she says, is the release of some kind of current or gas. When asked for her thoughts on the theory that the craters at the bottom of Geirþjófsfjörður were created by a sea monster, she responded, "That is of course a very fun explanation."

The Lake Utopia Monster

Located in Charlotte County, New Brunswick, Canada there is a small lake, called Lake Utopia (45° 10? 48? N, 66° 47? 24? W). This lake is about 7 km long and less than 3 km at its widest point. The northern basin is about 30 metres deep with the average depth being around 11 metres. In comparison, Loch Ness in Scotland (57° 18? 0? N, 4° 27? 0? W) is over 36 km in length, under 3 km at its widest point, and has an average depth of over 130 metres (maximum depth of over 200 metres). However, the two lakes have two things in common. Both are at similar latitudes and both are said to harbour an unknown creature!

Everyone is familiar with Nessie or the Loch Ness Monster, but few people outside the local area of Lake Utopia or in the field of cryptozoology have heard about the Lake Utopia Monster. While Nessie is often described as looking like a plesiosaur, the Lake Utopia Monster, or what the locals call “Old Ned,” has been described as being serpentine or eel-like, or even cetacean-like in appearance, perhaps greater than 13 metres in length.

Stories about its existence by Natives pre-date the arrival of the Europeans but the first documented account appears in 1867. In 1868, many believed the Lake Utopia Monster had been killed! Harper’s Weekly ran an article that a mysterious sea serpent was killed in Passamaquoddy Bay. It was reported to have a dorsal fin and a flat tail like a shark.

An artists drawing that accompanied the article clearly shows a basking shark and the hind limbs were likely claspers from what was likely a male basking shark. It was thought to be trying to cross land and make its way into Lake Utopia. Sightings still continued after this incidence.

Norma Stewart has documented the sightings of this animal for over 25 years, and the last reported sighting was in 2000. Stewart believes the animal travels back and forth between Lake Utopia and the Atlantic Ocean, appearing every 3-5 years, as if on some kind of breeding or feeding cycle. Because of this movement between the ocean and freshwater, she refers to it as a sea monster, that may even be amphibious and have lungs. The fact that the animal may be migratory helps debunk the skeptic argument that the lake could not sustain an animal (or animals) the size of the Old Ned.

How does the animal migrate between a freshwater lake and the ocean if it is not amphibious and has lungs? St. George is a small town close to Lake Utopia. The Magaguadavic River (river of eels) is connected to Lake Utopia through a deep canal and the river flows through St. George to Passamaquoddy Bay and the sea beyond. While the Magaguadavic River is dammed in St. George, it is said Lake Utopia is also connected to the ocean via a system of underground tunnels so it is theoretically possible for a sea creature to by-pass the dam in St. George and move into the freshwater system via these tunnels.

There is no conclusive evidence for the existence of this creature. Some speculate it is an otter, beaver, logs, a ball of freshwater eels, a large fish or some other known animal. Eels do live in the lake but nothing of that size has ever been captured. Theories abound about what it might be but, tor the time being, the mystery of the Lake Utopia Monster remains just that, a mystery.

Sources:
Reykjavík Grapevine
http://grapevine.is/Home/ReadArticle/Claims-Sea-Monster-Lives-In-Fjord

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