Thursday 29 October 2009

The Oklahoma Lakes Monster-octopus or alcohol?

The Oklahoma Lakes Monster is reported to have the look of an octopus with reddish-brown, leathery skin and be the size of a horse. It is said to be responsible for the deaths of at least 17 swimmers on the fresh water lakes in Oklahoma consisting of Lake Thunderbird, Lake Oolagah, and Lake Tenkiller. No physical evidence exists of the Oklahoma Octopus, but some point to the high number of unexplained drownings in the Oklahoma lakes as a sign it exists . There are supposed to have been numerous reported sightings, but I have been unable to find any photos or other evidence.

A book, “Monster Spotter’s Guide to North America” by Scott Francis (2007) states that the Oklahoma lakes are inhabited by a carnivorous creature , appearing as a reddish-brown Octopus with leathery skin and measuring more than 20 feet long. An extract “Lakes in Oklahoma rate high in instances of drowning. Some believe that drowning victims actually fall prey to the giant octopi living in the lakes. Several of Oklahoma’s lakes, including Lake Thunderbird, Lake Oolagah and Lake Tenkiller, are said to be home to these monstrous creatures that are thought to be responsible for dragging swimmers and fishermen to their watery deaths.”

So possibility or hoax?. On the plus side there is species of jellyfish have been able to adapt from saltwater to freshwater conditions, and the same adaptation may have been possible for other creatures. For example eels travel between salt water and freshwater habitats so a freshwater adaptation of a species is not totally unknown in a salt water species. So far however a Fresh water Octopus has not been discovered. The Bull Shark is a ocean dwelling creature that has been found in freshwater and can be dangerous and will attack people. The lakes though are man made and have not been open to the sea as far as I can ascertain, so the only way a species from a salt water environment could be in there is if someone put it there, perhaps a pet that out grew it’s home. It seems more likely that there is some other explanation for the high number of drownings. It has been suggested alcohol is involved , or maybe there are some underwater debris or currents that ensnare swimmers. Unless a freshwater octopus is discovered , that is what the deaths will be put down to and to be honest seems the more likely explanation.

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