Sporting fins, scales, and sometimes horns or fur, a host of unidentifiable water creatures have poked their dripping heads above the waves throughout recorded history. Eyewitnesses to water monster encounters are usually left puzzled, terrified, and questioning the origins and elusiveness of the creatures. Most people can describe what a typical sea monster looks like, yet no museum boasts a skeleton, and an irrefutable photograph of a sea serpent or the legendary Loch Ness Monster does not exist. Lake and Sea Monsters thoroughly explores humanity's fascination with these wet wonders and separates fact from fiction by examining ancient legends and myths, contemporary eyewitness accounts, and the latest scientific discoveries.
Foreword 6 Introduction 11 Swimming through Time: Birth of the Sea Monster 17 Water Animal Planet: Global Legends 27 Merfolk and Other Scaly Humanoids 35 Saltwater Serpents 43 Kraken, Giant Squids, and Octopuses 55 Lake Lurkers 63 Nessie: Scotland's Sea Monster Superstar 75 Monsters that Were and Still May Be 85 Mistake or Fake: Natural Creatures and Hoaxes 93 Timeline 103 Glossary 107 Endnotes 111 Further Resources 117 Index 120 About the Author 126 About the Consulting Editor 127