A nearly-complete encyclopedia of underwater cryptozoological knowledge

Welcome to the Monster Galleries!

Oceans & Seas

Creature Categories

Common Features

Here you will find an encyclopedia of over 300 aquatic monsters from around the world, listed by area (tabs at the top of the page and list right above here).  When finished, this index of sea monsters will be possibly the most complete in the world.  Each monster's entry includes as much information and footage of the creatures as we can dig up. Enjoy!

Portals are bases which encompass different categories of creature.  For example, the "Giant Turtles" portal links to all the giant turtles the world over included in the Galleries.  More specific pages like the "Horse-head" page list the monsters that have been described with a particular feature (like having a horse-like head).  Also included  are portals for continents and oceans, with descriptions and histories of the types of monsters found therein.

The Mersey Monster


The Santa Barbara Sea Monster

October 2, 1909, crewmen of steamship St. Croix off the coast of Santa Barbara.  To the San Francisco Examiner, they said it was 60 feet long, head like an eel's, body as thick as a man's.  Authors Paul LeBlond and Edward Bousfield include it in their list of Caddy sightings (p. 95)

Strange California Monsters by Michael Newton

The Long Beach Sea Serpent

18 miles off Long Beach
Los Angeles, California, United States

Feb. 19, 1909: 5 fishermen on the launch Rita saw something at the Grouper Banks, 18 miles offshore from Long Beach, LA County.

Guy Griffith told reporters: "The monster was about 40 feet long and about 15 feet back from the head it had a big dorsal fin.  The head was as big as a barrel and brown with eyes as big as my fist and it moved from side to side.  The tail was like that of a porpoise.  We first sighted the thing 100 feet away.  The head was then out of the water and I started to shoot at it, but feared it might become angry and wreck us, so I told one of the boys to start the engine and we glided away but the monster came after us.  We gave the engine all she could stand and got away from the creature."

However, a Los Angeles Herald article tells the story a bit differently, even placing it two days before the Indiana article's account:

Los Angeles Herald
February 18, 1909
Monster is Forty Feet Long, with Head Like Barrel and Eyes Big as a Man’s Fist
[Special to The Herald.]
LONG BEACH, Feb. 17. – A sea serpent forty feet long, with a brown head as big around as a small barrel and eyes as large as a man’s fist, was the frightening object sighted eighteen miles off the coast yesterday by Guy
Griffith, James Harvey and three other fishermen in the launch Reta. The serpent is said to have moved its head from side to side as a snake does and had a big dorsal fin fifteen feet back of the head.
The fishermen say the same monster has been reported within the last few months near the Philippines and along the northern coast of this country.
They furthermore aver that a heavy sinker, which one of the five threw at the sea serpent as the boat was pulling away from the unsafe neighborhood, was caught in the creature’s mouth and spit back with such force as to make a deep dent in the fish box on deck.
“Never saw such a spitter,” said one of the men. “Just like a young cannon.” Long Beach is a “dry” [alcohol sales illegal] town.

Strange California Monsters by Michael Newton. p 24



El Cuervo


Scottish Lake Bull


Lago Maihue Monsters


Big Trout Lake carcass


Lake Lacar Monster


Creature of Lago Buenos Aires / General Carrera


Marine Ground Sloths


Patagonian walrus


See Iemisch

Water Trauco


Patagonian Sea Cows


Horse-eating Frog








Hairy snakes


Lake Superior Monster


Lake Mendota Serpent


Lake Waubesa Serpent


Lake Monona Serpent


Lake Geneva Monster


Delevan Serpent


Oconomowoc Serpent


Pewaukee Serpent


Elkhart Serpent


Madison Serpent


Lake Ripley Monster




Songhua Lake Monster


Tianchi Lake Monster

Solimões Monster


Lake Dakataua Monster


Chiemsee Lake Monster






Alesund Monster


Denbigh Dinosaur


Lake Michigan Monster


Tasek Bera Monster


Lago Ranco Serpents


Laguna Negra Plesiosaur


Unspecified Patagonian Monster


Amphibious Mylodon of Lago Chubut


Santa Cruz Lake Plesiosaur


Vättern Monster


Charleston Lake Monster


Lake Koshkonong Monster


Red Cedar Lake Monster


Products of pollution

Plesiosaur-like creatures


Freshwater octopuses

Gulf of California (Sea of Cortez)

Gulf of Mexico

The Pensacola Sea Monster

Caribbean Sea

Mediterrannean Sea

North Sea

Indian Ocean

Southern Ocean

Pacific Ocean

Atlantic Ocean

Asian Pacific islands

Australia & New Zealand

Australia & New Zealand













Quaint villages and grey metropoli give way to wilder forests and flat lakes.  Coasts like that at Land's End are famous for their rugged cliffs and sea monster sightings, while ponds that dot the English countryside play host to consistent and ongoing lake monster sightings.

Lake Windermere





Central & South America

Austin Whittall, a self-made expert on Patagonian monsters, has generously allowed Aquabeasties to use the vast library of information he has gathered on the subject.  On his blog, Patagonian Monsters, Mr. Whittall regularly posts meticulously studied and analyzed information about cryptids in Patagonia, and over a couple years he has built a veritable encyclopedia on hidden animals in the region.  We owe him a million thanks for providing this knowledge which one can only find through diligent research in multiple sources (the internet doesn't come close to providing such information).  Through a lifetime of experience in and obvious deep appreciation for the beautiful South American region of Patagonia, Mr. Whittall has given armchair cryptozoologists and field explorers alike the opportunity to search for hundreds of monsters in the jungles of deep South America.

Patagonia is a region covering the southern parts of Chile and Argentina.  It stretches from the southernmost section of the Andes, east along the Río Colorado and all the way down to the tip of South America.  Patagonia is full of stark, rocky mountains and huge deep blue lakes--and it seems almost every lake in Patagonia has its own monster.  Lake serpents and plesiosaur-like monsters abound in the region, but Patagonia's most unique hydrocryptozoological attribute is its water bulls.  For centuries villagers have reported seeing bulls that inhabit the region's lakes.  One wonders what's so unusual about a bull that's standing in a lake, but often these bulls have unusual horns or even the hindquarters of a fish.

Water horses, or Calimayos, are also found throughout Patagonia, and the landmark lake cryptids of South America--El Cuero and Nahuelito--abound.

One of the oddest creatures to inhabit Patagonia is a leftover from thousands of years ago--the giant marine ground sloth.  Giant ground sloths died out several thousand years ago, but many believe that some still stalk the jungles of Latin America, and in Patagonia Austin Whittall alleges that there may be a marine variety.

El Cuero
Lago de Las Rocas Monster
Lago Esquel Creature
Lago Lacar Monster
Lago La Plata Creatures
Lago Lolog Creatures
Lago Maihue Monsters
Lago Nonthue Creatures
Lago Paimun Creature
Lago Pueyrredón Monster
Lago Tar Monsters
Lago Todos Los Santos
Lago Vichuquen Monster
Lago Vidal Gormaz Monster
Lago Villarrica Monster
Lago Vintter / Palena
Laguna Tagua Tagua Monster
Lake Horses / Calimayos
Long-necked Seals
Marine Ground Sloths
Negros del Agua
Patagonian Hippopotamus
Patagonian Plesiosaur
   Llanquihue Plesiosaur
   Lago Plesiosaurio Monster
Patagonian Water Bulls
   Lake Lacar Bull
Pulau Tiga Plesiosaur
Río Aluminé Monster
Río Deseado Monster
Río Plate Sea Serpent
Río Tamango Monster
Río Senguer Monster
Río Toltén Creature
Strait of Magellan Sea
Sucuriju Gigante / Giant
Water Trauco


Amazon region

Central & South America

The Amazon

Central America

Central & South America
Costa Rica



Black River Monster



Home of the Loch Ness Monster . . . and that pretty much says it.  No other water-going monster on the continent comes close to the level of fame enjoyed by Nessie.  Lesser known internationally are the numerous lake and sea monsters of Iceland, Sweden and Norway.  Those rocky peaks and craggy, fjord-studded coasts allow for plenty of unknown denizens of the deep.  England has its pond creatures, too, and Ireland is slowly getting the point that a local lake monster spikes tourist dollars.  Germany has a couple lake monsters, but the rest of mainland Europe has surprisingly few outside of mythology.  At least if we're talking about widely recognized monsters.  Mysterious lake creatures known only in the local province are common throughout Europe, making a romp through the countryside of anywhere from Germany to Ukraine an exciting hunt for localized monster lore.

Among the countries and regions in Europe most notable for aquatic monsters are:

England       Iceland       Ireland       Scandinavia       Scotland


North America



North America

Nowhere in the world can rival the island of Victoria for sea monster and Bigfoot sightings.  Canada is also well known for its sheer number of lakes that harbor lake serpents.  Many of these serpents are said to be dangerous, and First Nation peoples were known to make offerings to appease them.  Certainly the strangest Canadian monster that inhabits the water is the Gougou, a legendary giantess who wades into the sea to pluck up unlucky sailors.

The U.S.A.

North America

Home of endless folk monsters from old prospectors' tales and frontiersmens' campfire stories, America the Beautiful has a strong history of lake, river and sea monsters as well.  When European settlers started exploring the wide open spaces of what is now the United States, they discovered tales of fearsome monsters lurking in deep lake bottoms.

Soon the Gloucester Sea Serpent started to appear to hundreds of people, and the Midwest revealed some very credible river monsters.

The steamy swamps and mangrove forests of the South concealed all manner of real threats--snakes, gators, crocs--and it's no surprise that the numerous waterways of the good ol' South have given birth to countless monster legends--among the strangest is Florida's giant penguin.

Mountain lakes of the great Northwest share nearby Canada's notoriety for lake monsters, and that coast is dotted with islands and winding channels that support a thriving population of sea monster sightings.

Lakes and streams among the towering peaks of far Northern California are said to be home to nine-foot salamanders, while in the desert Southwest a surprising number of man-made reservoirs have hatched local lake monster legends.

And let's not forget about Thunderbirds, which made a long-lasting and inexplicable appearance over Illinois in 1977.  Legends of massive birds are also found in the Appalachians and in the Southwestern states, particularly Texas.

The Loveland Frogmen
The New River Inlet Globster
The Pensacola Sea Monster
The Portsmouth Sea Serpent
Saint Johns River Dragon
Saint Johns River Monster

The USA              Canada              Mexico

The Beast of Busco / Oscar the Turtle

Fulk Lake
Churubusco, Indiana, United States

An Oscar float from a long ago Turtle Days parade.
Oscar the Turtle is the reason Churubsuco, Indiana is called Turtle Town USA.  According to reports, Oscar, otherwise known as the Beast of Busco, is a gigantic snapping turtle with a shell as large as a car, a neck the size of a stovepipe and a head as big as a child's.

Numerous reliable eyewitness reports, including mass sightings, lend credence to the story.  The farmer who owned the land containing the lake the beast supposedly called home conducted numerous searches for the gigantic turtle in 1949.  Although there were several close encounters, these searches yielded no tangible evidence in the end.

The Sightings

In 1898, farmer Oscar Fulk claimed that a huge turtle was living in the small lake on his farm.  Of course no one took him seriously--for now.  A subsequent sighting took place in 1914, again to little fanfare.

But on July 27, 1948, locals Ora Blue and Charlie (or Charley) Wilson told Gale Harris, now the owner of the property, that a gigantic turtle had surfaced near their boat while they were out fishing on the lake.  
Its body was as big as their rowboat and its head as big as a child's.  According to some sources, the men claimed that the turtle had stolen their fishing poles.  Churubusco resident and turtle expert Rusty Reed talked with Blue and dismissed the story as a hoax.

"Charley Wilson was known to tell tall tales and Gale Harris was known to believe anything," Reed says.

Despite this, the enormous turtle quickly became a celebrity.  The local newspaper reported it, and Harris had a sighting of his own.  Some began to say that the turtle had former owner Oscar Fulk's initials carved into its shell.  The newspapers in Fort Wayne, poking fun at the townspeople for believing in such a creature, nicknamed the creature "Oscar" and "The Beast of Busco."  The names stuck.

In 1949 Harris spotted the creature again.  Desperate to prove he wasn't a lunatic, he decided to conduct a monster hunt and finally lure the great turtle out of hiding.

An actual turtle in Fulk Lake.
The Hunt

News of the hunt spread far and wide, even reaching newspapers in Europe, according to the Churubusco Chamber of Commerce.

Harris and local garage mechanic Kenneth Leitch began constructing traps to capture the beast, and Harris reportedly built a periscope to try to spot the turtle from the surface.

On the first day of the hunt, in early March of 1949, Harris and the crowd he had drawn actually penned the beast in about 10 feet of water with a trap of stakes and chicken wire.  Footage that has now vanished showed turtle swimming just below surface.  But Oscar the Turtle somehow managed to escape.

On March 7 the newspaper in Columbia City reported the ongoing search.  The next day, reporters from Fort Wayne showed up.  A day later, updates on the great monster hunt were reported across the nation.

By March 12, 200 people gathered at Harris' farm to watch the hunt.  The crowd soon ballooned out of control.  Twenty years short of Woodstock, bumper-to-bumper traffic wound around Harris' farm and planes flew overhead trying to spot the creature from the air.  In two days, 3,000 curious citizens, reporters, professional trappers, zoo officials, and deep-sea divers had swarmed to the farm.  Here is a reprinted news article from that point in the search.
A giant concrete turtle statue in Charabusco.

On March 18th, Harris got hold of a complete dive suit, and diver Woodrow Rigsby tried to walk the bottom of the lake, but the helmet began to leak and Rigsby called off the operation.  Another diver, Walter Johnson, tried his hand at the search as well but gave up after two-and-a-half hours because he kept sinking chest-deep into the muck.

In April, two men from Indianapolis claimed to have finally caught the giant turtle.  This, however, turned out to be a hoax; the men had simply bought a sea turtle to try to trick the public.  According to Unknown Explorers, this hoax is what sparked the idea to lure Oscar out of the lake using a female sea turtle.

With no giant turtle to marvel at, the public's interest had dwindled by May.  Harris kept at it, though, at one point using dynamite charges to try to scare the monster to the surface.

Finally, in September, Harris attached water pumps to his tractor and began to drain his lake, drawing some crowds back.  The crowds began to grow again, and Harris charged a fee this time to make up for the cost of the pumping operation and all the crops trampled by crowds.  On October 13, as 200 spectators looked on, the Beast of Busco reportedly surfaced in an attempt to catch a duck being used as a lure.  Soon after, however, the muck at the bottom of the lake wore out the pump and broke Harris' tractor.  Never one to quit, Harris brought in a crane to dredge the lake.  But even when the lake had been drained to a depth of five feet, there was no giant turtle in sight.  The disappointed locals speculated that he had migrated to another lake or river through underground channels.

In December Harris came down with appendicitis and when he had recovered sufficiently to resume the search, rain had mostly refilled the lake.  The next year, dejected and out of money, he sold his farm and his turtle traps.

There have been no reported sightings of Oscar since then.

Rusty Reed and Steve Cook
bring Crunch, a 120-pound
alligator snapping turtle, to
Turtle Days in 1993.
Jim Guiff, the nephew of Oscar Fulk, wasn't surprised that Harris didn't find the turtle.

“I was always suspicious about the turtle being as big as he was,” he says. “I used to hunt for snapping turtles when I was a kid, and I never saw them that big. I never disputed 
them, though, because maybe I was wrong.”

Guiff does believe Harris believed in the turtle because of the amount of money he lost looking for it.  Rusty Reed agrees.

“Gale Harris lost everything over trying to prove that he saw that turtle,” he says. “Does a person get so caught up in a lie that he can’t turn back, or did he really see it?”

An Explanation?

Reed believes the Beast of Busco could have been an alligator snapping turtle that somehow made its way 200 miles north of its natural habitat in southern Indiana's rivers (they're rare in northern Indiana).  Alligator snapping turtles are one of the largest freshwater turtles in the world, having been known to grow to two-and-a-half feet.  The largest confirmed specimen weighed 249 lb (113 kg) and an unconfirmed weight put the heaviest at 403 lb (183 kg).  They can live more than 100 years, allowing the long span of sightings in Churubusco.

In the late 1800s and early 1900s, according to Reed, travelling salesmen from southern Indiana sometimes took young alligator snapping turtles with them when they went north as an emergency food source.  The salesmen might sell, give away, or release the turtles.  Reed says that if Oscar ever did exist, he probably either suffocated under the collapsing mud when the lake was drained or hid in a puddle until the water came back.

Still Swimming

Guiff remembers Gale Harris as an honest, humble man and remembers his uncle Oscar Fulk as a "character."  He remembers the great turtle hunt well, and recalls one night when a man, perhaps Harris, steering a boat toward a trap while about 12 men stood watching.  Someone shone a light onto the trap, but all that was visible was murky water.

Amusement rides are part of the attraction
at Turtle Days.
Aside from in Guiff's memory, the Beast of Busco lives on in Churubusco's annual Turtle Days festival in June.  The festivities at Turtle Days celebrate the monster with live bands, raffle drawings, rides, turtle races, and a parade.

In nearby Decatur, Indiana, a restaurant wall displays a yard-long turtle shell which the owners claim is Oscar's.  Check it out.

Resident Larry Kenner snapped this photo of the animal.
Indianans seem to have an odd habit of spotting large creatures in small lakes.  During the summer of 2010, the residents of Wayne, Indiana began seeing something strange in the lake at Lakeside Park.  The creature, according to one witness, had “a snake’s tail. It was really long and really big in the middle and it had fish scales.”  Though many who heard the tales thought the creature was just an escaped carp, witnesses claimed that the creature was bigger than a snake and seemed to slither through the water.  One witness said she had seen the creature acting strangely, as though it was strangling a fish.

This unidentified creature is known as Lakeside Nessie.  See more about it on Lakeside Nessie's page in the Monster Galleries


Giant Turtles


Giant North Atlantic Turtle

North Atlantic, off the eastern coast of Canada

According to The Cryptid Zoo, giant turtles have been reported off the eastern coast of Canada.  These turtles are said to have pure white skin and two tusks each four inches in diameter and three feet long.  The turtles are 50 feet long.

Lake Minnetonka Monster (Minnie)

Not much is known about Minnie, a monster which inhabits Minnesota's Lake Minnetonka.

Cindy Travis claims to have been surprised by a wake moving along the shoreline.




Lake Tele

Giant Ocean Platypus

Off Mountain Point
Near Ketchikan, Alaska, United States

A sound off Hecate Straight

Extraordinary Animals Revisited


Steller's sea monkey / sea ape

Aleutian Islands--possibly the Shuinagin Islands
North Atlantic, Russia/Alaska


In 1741, Commander Vitus Bering led a sailing expedition in the employ of Czar Peter the Great.  His zoologist, the German Georg Wilhelm Steller, is nowadays most well-known for his discovery on that voyage of the now-extinct Steller's sea cow--at least we think it's extinct.  Steller found and described many new animals on this voyage, all of which have been identified--except for one.

During this time we were near land or surrounded by it we saw large numbers of hair seals, sea otters, fur seals, sea lions, and porpoises…On August 10 [1741] we saw a very unusual and unknown sea animal, of which I am going to give a brief account since I observed it for two whole hours. It was about two Russian ells [six feet] in length; the head was like a dog`s, with pointed erect ears. From the upper and lower lips on both sides whiskers hung down which made it look like a Chinaman. The eyes were large; the body was longish round and thick, tapering gradually towards the tail. The skin seemed thickly covered with hair, of a grey colour on the back, but reddish white on the belly; in the water, however, the whole animal appeared entirely reddish and cow-coloured. The tail was divided into two fins, of which the upper, as in the case of sharks, was twice as large as the lower.

Harry Trumbore's depiction of Steller's
sea monkey.
According to Richard Ellis in Monsters of the Sea, "the animal cavorted around Steller's boat for hours, playing with strands of kelp, and finally, Steller took a shot at it ('in order to get possession of it for a more accurate description'), but he missed.  According to The Field Guide to Bigfoot and Other Mystery Primates, by Harry Trum, the sighting took place off the Shuinagin Islands, Alaska.

In Searching for Hidden Animals, Roy Mackal discounts the suggestion that Steller confused the creature with a sea otter or a seal and writes, 'The simplest explanation is that the 'sea-monkey' actually existed, and that Steller saw it for the first and last time before it became extinct.'"  Ellis points out that the sea mink of the Atlantic off Maine and New Brunswick shares characteristics with this mysterious animal, and even has relatives off Alaska--but none that truly match Steller's description.

Steller went on to say that the creature "corresponds in all respects to Gesner's Simia marina Danica," the "Danish Sea-ape."  Conrad Gesner is a pretty reliable source, being the author of Historia Animalium (1551-58)--considered the basis of modern zoological classification.

Citing a source listed only as "M.Clark op cit p.12," the Still on the Track blog gives the following quoted text:

No record of any other sighting of this animal has been found,and so scientists have generally agreed that it must have become extinct at around the same time as the sea cow. That was until 1965...On a clear afternoon in June, [when Brigadier Smeeton, his wife and daughter and Henry Combe - R] were sailing about four miles off the northern coast of Atka, in the central Aleutians, bound for Deep Cove,when they saw a strange animal which they couldn't identify.

Possible explanations

Famed cryptozoologist Loren Coleman writes that

According to biographer Dean Littlepage in his Steller’s Island: Adventures of a Pioneer Naturalist in Alaska (The Mountaineers Books, 2006), the most likely explanation for the sea ape is a young Northern Fur Seal. Their forelimbs are set back far enough on their torso that they might have been obscured below the waterline, and the “shark-like” tail might have been the animal’s hind flippers. Steller was already familiar with fur seals, but Littlepage speculates that poor lighting during the lengthiest encounter with a probable juvenile could account for the misidentification.

Coleman notes int eh same entry that some have said the creature could be a misidentified Hawaiian monk sealIt's difficult to dismiss Steller's account of the sea-monkey, seeing that he discovered and described so many other creatures which we know to be real--this one is the only exception.