You don't have to believe in the Loch Ness Monster to believe in the Devil. That's the name locals have given to a mysterious creature wreaking havoc on anyone who dares to enter the water at Lake Labynkyr in remote Siberia.
Associate Professor of Biogeography Lyudmila Emeliyanova told The Siberian Times that on her latest mission to the lake, her boat's sonar picked up huge readings that were too large to be considered a single large fish and too dense to be a school of fish.
Other researchers have used a fish scanner to find a moving object over 21 feet long. It had to be a living being because the scanner registers inanimate objects differently.
Word of mouth tales have also spread about the Devil. Fisherman once got rocked by a flood of waves even though there were no other boats within sight and no wind that day. As the waves got stronger, the front of the boat began to rise, as if a giant creature from below was lifting it up. Just as the boat was about to tip, it was released and the water eventually settled. There are tales as far back as the 1920's of a five-year-old boy being snatched away from the lip of the lake by a giant, squealing creature with a bird-like beak.
Lake Labynkyr is just over 3,000 miles from Moscow and only 37 miles from the town of Oymyakon, known as the coldest place on earth. Unlike other bodies of water in the area, the lake never freezes over and generates no plant life. Whether or not it houses a giant monster remains to be seen.
Keep reading to find out about more mysterious creatures that may be lurking underwater all around the world.
The Mary CelesteEight days after setting sail from New York with 10 people on board, a merchant ship called the Mary Celeste was found adrift and abandoned in the North Atlantic in 1872. While one lifeboat was missing and a pump had been dissembled, the ship was largely intact: six months of food was untouched, the crew’s belongings were in order and though tossed about, the ship’s logbook and some charts were left on board. Why the sailors, captain and captain’s family left the ship and what happened to them thereafter remains a mystery as neither the lifeboat nor any bodies were ever found.
Since valuables remained on board, historians don’t think pirate takeover is a viable explanation. An extremely experienced crew and well-liked captain ruled out pure error and mutiny. A leading theory suggests that upon smelling fumes from leaking wine barrels, the captain anticipated an explosion and ordered everyone into a lifeboat, on which they subsequently starved or drowned. Though empty barrels were found in the hull, no one who inspected the boat smelled fumes of any kind, adding doubt to the supposition. So what happened to the Mary Celeste? Your guess is as good as ours.
“The Bloop” and “Julia”Underwater microphones off the southern coast of South America have recorded a number of creepy sounds. While nearly all of the noises can be attributed to volcanic activity or shifting icebergs, two instances have scientists totally baffled. The first, known as “The Bloop,” occurred in 1997 and lasted just over a minute. Two years later, what sounded like a watery voice saying “Julia” was picked up in the same region of the ocean.
An investigation of each sound ruled out seismic or human activity. While scientists agree that an animal is responsible for “Julia,” no creature currently known to man is large enough to produce such a noise. Science-fiction fans have posited that Cthulhu, a winged, tentacled, badass monster created by writer H.P. Lovecraft, is the source of the underwater eeriness. Though unlikely, the Cthulhu hypothesis would certainly make for a great summer blockbuster.
The Sonar Flying SaucerIn July of 2011 an ocean exploration team led by Swedish researcher Peter Lindberg found what some have suggested is a crashed flying saucer. While using sonar to search for a shipwreck 300 feet below sea level between Sweden and Finland, Lindberg saw a perfectly round circle about 60 feet in diameter. Deep scars across the nearby ground suggested that the object had moved across the ocean’s bottom.
When Lindberg released the sonar image to the public, a number of news stations reported that the object was a UFO. Though finding a perfectly round object deep on the ocean floor is very strange, sonar specialists hold that the resolution of the image is too low to positively identify the circle as anything in particular, including a flying saucer. While the scars may indicate movement, they could also be totally unrelated. Until more funding is available to explore the area and equipment improves, theories will abound but no answers will be found.
The Montauk MonsterWhen an unidentified animal carcass washed ashore in Montauk, New York in the summer of 2008, speculation arose. Several people reported seeing the strange creature and photographs surfaced, but the actual body went missing before police could recover the remains. When newspapers ran the story alongside a grotesque image, locals wondered whether the animal could be a mutant born from experimentation at nearby Plum Island Animal Disease Center.
While some people believe the “monster” to be a hoax, many scientists who’ve studied the photos think that the animal is indeed real but is likely a known species heavily damaged and decomposed by time spent in the water. Dog, turtle, capybara, sheep and raccoon have all been purported but none are an exact match. While the raccoon claim appears to be closest, the Montauk Monster’s legs are longer than that of a normal raccoon, casting doubt on any definitive conclusion.
The Vil VanaIn 1993, a seven-man, 41-foot fishing trawler mysteriously vanished off the coast of Santa Cruz Island. Since crew members were unable to signal for help and very few ship remains have been found, investigators believe that the boat sank quickly and fully intact. Despite two decades of analysis, exactly why this happened has eluded scientists, who remain baffled by the fact that diesel fuel never bubbled to the surface and not a single body was ever found. The only items to turn up at all were two buoys and a bunch of shrimp traps found in the area two years after the incident.
While U.S. officials have denied the possibility, some of the victims’ families believe that a rogue military submarine caught one of the boats’ nets and dragged the vessel under. Though such an occurrence is rare, it is possible: a submarine sank a tugboat in the same area four years prior. Others think that a modification made to the Vil Vana a few weeks before the trip affected stability, causing the craft to capsize and trap the crew. No other evidence has come to head since 1995, leaving the creepy case open and unsolved.
The Lost City of AtlantisIn 360 B.C., Plato wrote about Atlantis, a major sea power in the Atlantic Ocean that mysteriously sank into the ocean “in a single day and night of misfortune.” While some historians think Plato’s account is myth, others have dedicated their lives to finding the lost city, which they believe was an actual superpower devastated by a natural disaster. Some think that Plato was describing the Minoan civilization on Crete and neighboring Santorini, where a devastating volcanic eruption occurred in 1600 B.C. Others speculate that the story was encouraged by the Black Sea floods of about 5000 B.C.
In the past 15 years, several research teams have claimed to locate Atlantis. In 2011, a U.S.-led group found evidence of “memorial cities” made in the same style as Atlantis buried under mud flats in Southern Spain. The team believes that refugees who fled a tsunami that destroyed Atlantis built the cities. If true, Atlantis would have to be located in the vicinity. Additional proof has yet to be found, leaving this 2,000-year-old conundrum up in the air.
The Bermuda TriangleThe stretch of ocean between Bermuda, Miami and San Juan has been long-associated with vanishing ships and airplanes. While most modern theorists think nearly all of the reported incidents were due to equipment or human error combined with the region’s propensity for strong currents and frequent storms, many people still believe that paranormal activity or a magnetic anomaly are to blame. While these unempirical explanations are unlikely, a few of the Bermuda Triangle accidents have escaped scientific explanation.
In 1918, the U.S.S. Cyclops, carrying 306 people, vanished between Barbados and Baltimore without signaling any warning and leaving no remains. In 1945, five Navy bomber planes disappeared off the coast of Florida. While the planes may have gotten off track, ran out of fuel and crashed, the jets and bodies were never discovered. In 1948, a DC-3 plane with three crewmen and 29 passengers disappeared during a flight from San Juan to Miami. Visibility was perfect and the pilot radioed in just 50 miles from landing to say everything was going well but the plane never landed and hasn’t been found since.
Alaska’s Loch Ness MonsterIn 2009 a fisherman in Bristol Bay, Alaska captured film footage (video below) of an undulating creature with a horse-like head, long neck, big eyes and back humps. While there are thousands of similar sea-serpent stories, like Scotland’s Loch Ness and Lake Champlain’s Champ, this is the first with hard video evidence. In studying how the animal moves, scientist Paul Lelond has determined that the creature cannot be a whale, seal, shark, eel or fish, as some have proposed. So what the heck is this monster of the sea?
Leblond thinks the film shows a cadborosaurus, a beast named for Cadboro Bay in British Columbia and the Greek word "saurus" (or lizard) that’s been popular in Alaskan lore for nearly 200 years. Andy Hillstrand of "Deadliest Catch" agrees with Lelond’s theory and claims that he has also seen “Caddy,” as she’s affectionately called. Nevertheless, until more physical clues surfaces, no definite conclusions can be drawn. Hillstrand hopes to capture Caddy itself and has already made one close, but failed, attempt.
QuackersDuring the peak of the Cold War, Soviet submarines in various parts of the North Atlantic and Arctic Oceans reported hearing mysterious sounds that they called “quakers”—the Russian version of our own onomatopoetic “ribbit” of a frog—upon passing certain zones in the ocean.
Based on sound recordings from various ships, scientists deduced that the noises were made by a moving object that behaved like a living creature or manned vessel, showing interest in, and even circling around, the sub. However, the ships’ sonar systems were unable to detect any crafts or creatures in the surrounding waters.
While the Soviets have maintained that secret U.S. technology was at work, others think giant squids, perhaps able to evade sonar detection because they lack a rigid skeleton, were the source of the sounds. The former theory lacks any evidence, and though the latter holds some weight, no known squid creates noises similar to those observed. Perhaps the most mysterious element to the quaker mystery is that the sounds slowly stopped in the mid 1980s. While there have been claims of quakers in more recent years, none of the cases have been confirmed as authentic.
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The Baychimo Ghost Ship
Ghost ships, manned by the dead or possessed by an unknown force, have been popular in nautical lore for centuries. While nearly all reports of such vessels are believed to be myths, an actual “ghost ship” did exist. In 1931 a 1,322-ton cargo steamer called the Baychimo became trapped in pack ice. The crew was forced to abandon the ship off the coast of Alaska. A harsh blizzard hit shortly thereafter and the ship was nowhere to be found.
While the crew assumed the vessel had sunk, Inuit hunters reported several sightings over the subsequent months. And the reports didn’t stop there. People described seeing the unmanned vessel, sailing the seas around Alaska as if still in use, for nearly 40 years following the disappearance. Last viewed in 1969, the ultimate fate of the Baychimo is a mystery.