Megan Borchert

Nestled in the United States’ beautiful midwest lies the Sooner State, Oklahoma.  Many travel to Oklahoma for the lovely Great Plains landscapes, including mountains, lakes, and forests.  Oklahoma claims the largest number of lakes created by dams in the United States.  Housing over two hundred dam created, man made lakes, Oklahoma is sure not to disappoint water seeking recreationalists.

Oklahoma's Underwater Demon

(images:[email protected]/flickr) Lake Thunderbird

Unfortunately, Oklahoma lakes are also a home to carnivorous lake monsters.  A mysterious creature has been cited for the high mortality rate and large number of unexplained drownings in Oklahoma lakes.  Although the lakes are placid, swimmers have been reported to have been dragged down into the depths by monstrous long arms.

Three lakes especially have been reported to be especially dangerous for unsuspecting swimmers.  Lake Thunderbird, Lake Oolagah, and Lake Tenkiller have had the most reports.  Swimmers have been attacked by a creature below the waters by a horrifying creature.  Lake Thunderbird is responsible for a majority of the reports.  This reservoir was named after the Native American legend of the Thunderbird.  It was a supernatural bird creature of power and strength.  The lake has also garnished the nickname “Lake Dirtybird” due to its historically dirty water.

Numerous reported sightings of the beast have been made in a variety of locations.  The Native Americans even have a long recorded history of sightings, likening the beast to a giant, underwater leech.  Swimmers and lake goers have been attacked and killed by an octopus like creature the size of a horse.  Called the “Underwater Demon”, the octopus maintains long tentacles, leathery reddish brown skin, and have been reported to be as large as a Jeep.

The deaths and sightings have maintained the attention of biologists and tourists.  Even more interested have been the media and venues like Animal Planet.  Many have tried to reason away the creature as something other than a carnivorous lake demon.  Some have suggested a Giant Pacific Octopus.  Some have been reported to have tentacles that each boast over two hundred pounds of man strength.  They also have a powerful beak with which they kill their prey.  Researchers have suggested that the monster octopus was a giant cephalopod that was trapped in an inland lake when coastal waters receded.  An octopus can travel great lengths with its powerful tentacles and is also able to travel on land for short periods.

Oklahoma's Underwater Demon

(images:epicserve/flickr)

Some have questioned how a creature so large could live in a fresh water lake.  The idea is not uncommon in the animal world, however.  Salmon, bass, and sturgeon are just a few types of fish that are born in fresh water and spend their lives at sea, returning to the fresh water only to spawn.  Conversely, eels commonly live in fresh water and spawn in the salt water.  Similarly, jelly fish and some types of sharks have been known to adapt from salt water to fresh water conditions.

Despite the origin of the beast, there is no question that Oklahoma lakes are housing something terrifying.  While shark and other marine attacks are something common in Florida and California, innocent lake goers are probably not expecting the horrors that lie beneath the placid, midwestern beauty of quiet Oklahoma.

 

June 16, 2016
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