Tales of a Siberian lake monster: Speculation engaged, bring on the tourists

The Siberian Times delivers a long, rambling expose on the Labynkyr Devil, a lake monster analogous to Nessie.

So is there a Loch Ness Monster in Siberia?.

A Moscow scientist is calling for a new scientific expedition to solve the mystery of a huge ‘monster’ claimed to be living in remote Lake Labynkyr in Siberia.

Known as ‘Russia’s Loch Ness Monster’, the accounts of the creature in Yakutia predate the Scottish claims yet in many ways are similar.

Intriguingly, too, there are theories that Labynkyr – which has unusual cracks on its 60 to 80 metre deep floor – is connected by underwater channels to another lake, Vorota, where monster sightings have also been recorded, including by respected Soviet geologist Viktor Tverdokhlebov, an academician not given to hyperbole.

Associate Professor of Biogeography Lyudmila Emeliyanova revealed to The Siberian Times that on her own scientific mission to Labynkyr she recorded ‘several seriously big underwater objects’ with sonar readings.

On the basis of ‘sightings’ there has been speculation that Labynkyr and Vorota might be inhabited by a school of ichthyosaurs, prehistoric marine reptiles resembling dolphins or sharks, or plesiosaurs, a popular theory concerning ‘Nessie’ in Scotland which is often depicted with a long neck.

Another version has speculated that relic killer whales could have become marooned in Labynkyr. Some accounts even suggest the ‘creature’ makes a hideous primeval cry as it attacks its prey.

‘As a scientist I know this is not enough to locate and study some unknown creature. I can put it like this, however. I believe there is a mystery in this lake because there is no smoke without fire.

‘I am sure that numerous legends which exist and circulate for many years just can’t be groundless. I read many different legends but the account below is what I heard with my own ears.

Source: Siberian Times

This article has much to be doubtful about. The scientist, Emeliyanova, speaks in speculative, breathless and convincing tones. In other words, not like a scientist at all. She says this about a sonar trace:

The next shadow; the width of the object is about 70 cm, and although the screen shows its silhouette differently to how we imagined, my mind vividly paints a picture of a beast, swimming across the echo device scanning ray.

‘Another object was ‘caught’ at the depth of 20 meters. It was definitely a live creature – look at the density! – but of a smaller size, like 2.5 meters.

Perhaps another giant fish. Or a baby of our monster?’

Picture shows the images seen on the scanning device, including sketches (drawn on the screen in red) to show how the ‘monster’ might look. Photo: veslo.ru

I can’t see what about her first investigation was scientific at all. The fact that “SHE IS A SCIENTIST” is prominently emphasized throughout, it reeks of argument from authority.

The evidence for this monster consists of tall tales that are not easily verified, sonar traces that could be something very normal and perhaps a picture (one is show but it’s worthless). It is a story because a scientist (she stresses this over and over) is weaving a glorious story about a monster, a mystery and a new exciting discovery. The speculation is high-pitched and baseless. The bit about the underground connections in the lake is a commonly used convenience. Such underwater tunnels are present only in unique geological situations. I have NEVER heard of such a formation that connects large bodies of water that allows for animals to travel between them. (If you find such an example, please share.)

The lake was previously basically inaccessible. But today there are travel companies that offer private trips to visit the lake, enabling people to carry out their own monster hunts. It sounds like a fascinating place, for sure. But from the pieces of flimsy evidence available, this monster isn’t making regular appearances.

The professor is seeking funds for an expedition.

Now that I think about this, I have to wonder if it is yet ANOTHER attempt to capitalize on cryptozoological interest to get scientists and tourists to come to Siberia. They’ve tried it repeatedly with the Yeti.

More on Siberia’s paranormal tales:

Why is it always Siberia?

Wacky Wednesday viral video: Mr. Snuffleupagus? (Updated)

A Bigsuit captured in Russia UPDATED

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  4 comments for “Tales of a Siberian lake monster: Speculation engaged, bring on the tourists

  1. Sam
    September 19, 2012 at 4:34 PM

    As an fisherman myself, who use to do a lot of fishing on lake Ontario and use Sonar(Fish finders) extensively, I’ve saw many a image like this one. I think these people need to learn to understand how there sonar works & how to interpret the images. With the different cone angles off the transducers, The speed of the boat, where the fish are in the cone angle all can lead to different images on the screen
    Here are a few videos just to start
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=94IRdadVmns

  2. oldebabe
    September 19, 2012 at 5:09 PM

    Can you imagine that there will be much of a rush by tourists to go to that site for any reason, let alone a tale of a large monster as told by a few native locals. While the gullible, wherever they can be found, will always be with us, they may be discouraged by the primitive, cold, and essentially barren area (unlike Loch Ness).

    The so-called verification attempts at `monster-finding’ are certainly not credible, and the `scientific’ testimony laughable. And still it continues…

  3. arlene
    September 21, 2012 at 2:18 PM

    There have been sightings of a creature like this in Lake Champlain in Vermont also. Maybe they are of the same family of marine reptiles. That one is called “Champ”.

    • September 21, 2012 at 2:46 PM

      There are HUNDREDS of lake monsters reported around the world. There is no decent body of evidence for any of them to be marine reptiles or other unknown creatures.

      See Lake Monster Mysteries, Nickell & Radford.

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