Thursday, October 1, 2009
In our post on Nahuelito we mentioned that people may think that they are seeing some strange lake creature when they are actually looking at something perfectly normal and natural.
In southern Argentine lakes, a group of patagonian otters or Huillín may appear at a distance as a snake-like monster with many humps swimming with a winding motion.
Under very calm conditions the wake caused by a creature too small to be seen like a group of swimming birds such as the Huala (Podiceps major) taking off and landing can create intermittent wakes like some underwater creature surfacing.
Different objects may also be mistaken for lake monsters such as fish swimming near the surface, bobbing logs or long-necked birds.
Patagonia's native deer, the Huemul (Hippocamelus bisculus)and the Red Deer (Cervus elaphus) are also known to swim across lakes and rivers. See our post on them (and a photograph) Here.
An inexperienced observer would swear seeing some strange lake monster if confronted with a swimming deer.
I want to share a very interesting article by Joe Nickell that I found at the website of CSI Committee for Skeptical Inquiry it was published in their Investigative files (Volume 17.2, June 2007) as Lake Monster Lookalikes. In it he deals with otters being mistaken for lake monsters. In it he states a clear objective: "Our aim must be to solve lake monster mysteries, not to foster or dismiss them."
Copyright 2009 by Austin Whittall ©