Sea creatures are mythical beings from folklore are believed to dwell, depending on the monster, in the sea and other bodies of water. Most are said to be enormous and are often said to be dangerous and vile creatures taking many forms including dragons, serpents and multi-armed and headed bests.
Join The Lady Dicks this week as we share the stories, histories and myths of three mysterious sea creatures: Ogopogo, Hydra and Abia.
Nestled in the mountains of southern British Columbia, Canada, is Lake Okanagan. It spans from Vernon, BC, all the way south to Penticton, an estimated 120 km long, 3.5 km wide, and, at its deepest point is 235 metres.
At some point in its history, some experts believe that Lake Okanagan might have been connected to the sea. And living within this unique body of water is Ogopogo or Naitaka, a mysterious underwater predator that we have yet to actually “discover.”
While the physical description of Ogopogo vary, several characteristics have stuck with him — he is often described as being green with a snake-like body that’s about 25 metres long. Though “witnesses” are not in agreement regarding his head — some say it looks like a horse, a goat or even reptilian. But, regardless of what he looks like, according to early Native American descriptions, Ogopogo is a violent, flesh-eating predator capable of turning humans into prey.
Visiting the Okanagan
If you happen to be in and around the Lake Okanagan area, you’ll definitely want to keep your eyes open and trained at the lake, looking for Ogopogo. Not because of his aggressive nature (though that’s legit) but also because of the reward!
You can take a paddleboard tour to Rattlesnake Island with Okanagan Paddle Boards for $65 each. Your tour price includes a guide to the island and back (which takes about 4 hours), a small refreshment and snack on the island, your paddleboard rental and even a short lesson if you need it!
If you are planning on going you’ll want to bring sandals, sunscreen and glasses! Unfortunately, we couldn’t find any reviews of the tour, but if you’ve been definitely let us know what you thought!
Hydra hailed from its lair in the Lake of Lerna in the Arigold, in classical Greece. Lerna was a region of springs and a former lake near the east coast of the Peloponnesus, south of Argos that was founded in 2,500 BCE and abandoned somewhere around 1,250 BCE. Lerna is also the site of the myth of Danaids (the myth of the 50 daughters of Danaus).
Hydra is a sea beast that, in Greek mythology, is killed by Hercules as the second of his 12 labours. Hydra is described as being a multi-headed beast with poisonous breath and blood so virulent even its scent was deadly. The exact numbers of Hydra’s heads is unagreed upon — origin says it has six heads, then nine and at some point it increased to 50. Later stories tell that Hydra can regenerate two heads for everyone that can get chopped off and another version of the story says that he grows three heads at a time — which makes 50 being a somewhat reasonable number. All-in-all, his exact headcount varies depending on the source.
Unfortunately, you cannot visit Lerna anymore as it quite literally doesn’t exist. So we decided to find you somewhere else cool that you can go to visit the Greek Gods. We selected the ancient historical site of The Parthenon in Athens, Greece.
The Pantheon is the site of the largest battle of the “Blood of Olympus” and has a history of over 3,000 years. The Parthenon is where you’ll find the famous Temple of Athena Parthenos, which is where “monsters, giants and Gods” descended to end the “Godly war” with Gaea (Mother Earth) in the “Heroes of Olympus.”
Now, today you won’t find a battleground but you will find beautiful, historic ancient ruins.
Abaia was giant eel that lived in the bottom of freshwater lakes of the Solomon, Fiji and Vanuatu Isles in Melanesian mythology. This giant eel was supposedly magical and protective of fish and other “defenceless critters” that it loved with because it saw them as his children.
Because of this protective behaviour, any creature that dared to harm or disturb said creatures was “immediately overwhelmed with a large wave, caused by the Abaia’s powerful tail, thrashing underwater.”
This large wave was usually fatal for humans, sinking the ship they would fish from. Others suspect that the eel was protective of his food source or habitat instead. Regardless, the superstition claims that the Abaia caused some crazy storms.
Abaia is a creature of legend and mythology that isn’t thought to exist anymore, but you can visit the islands surrounding where he may have lived, mainly being Fiji and the Vanuatu Isles. That said, Fiji and Vanuatu are about 1,213 km apart so you might have to pick just one as the best way to get between the two of them is via plane.
Fiji is best to visit if you’re looking for culture, diving, travelling with your families, backpackers and resorts. Fiji actually receives the same amount of visitors as the rest of the South Pacific combined, but is still said to feel “wild and exotic.”
Vantu, on the other hand, is home to volcanoes, culture, backpacking, resorts and diving. The main island is called Efate, but apparently, the “real action” is on the outer islands. Tannu is home to a “firey and climbable’ Mount Yasur, but Espiritu Santo is likely where the Lady Dicks listeners would be most interested in hangsies due to its upscale resorts, trek to the Millenium Cave home to waterfall and bats, and, most importantly, is the place where you can dive and snorkle WWII wrecks.
Take a look at some of the scariest sea creatures throughout history with National Geographic’s book.
Take a walk around the world with this immersive map of the creepiest and crawliest sea creatures.
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About this Episode
Sea Creatures Sources
- Legend of Ogopogo, Tourism Kelowna.
- Ogopogo, Mythology.net
- Does Ogopogo Exist, Ogopogo Exist.
- Mythical Creature – Abaia, a large freshwater EEL from the Archipelagos of New Guinea – with writing prompt,
- Sea Bishop, Movie Monsters.
- Sea Monks, Sea Bishops, and the Mysterious Umibōzu of Japan, Mysterious Universe.
- Bishop Fish, Cryptopia.
- Monkfish, anyone? The strange story of the Polish sea-bishop, Early Modern John.
- The Legend of the Sea Monk, Very Bizarre Stories.Kraken, Unmuseum.