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America's Most Mysterious Places

Lake Michigan, Home to the Lake Michigan Monster
Walter Bibikow/Corbis

Lake Michigan, Home to the Lake Michigan Monster

The Mystery: Locals and cryptozoologists have long believed there’s an enormous prehistoric creature living in the second largest of the Great Lakes. Sightings from around its shores—Cross Village, Harbor Springs, Northport—date as far back as 1817 and tell of a 60-foot serpent or “sea panther,” as local Native Americans referred to it (because of its catlike head and lizard body), that likes to emerge at dusk.

Fact: While the beast, if it truly exists, is thought to be a land-locked plesiosaur. Similar sightings have also occurred in the other northernly lakes, including Lake Champlain—home to Champy—and Lake Erie, where proclaimed creationist Carl Baugh discovered a carcass of a three-foot long “baby monster” in the early 1990’s. He had the creature, probably a burbot, stuffed and placed on display at the (now closed) L & D Bait and Tackle shop near Cleveland, Ohio

America’s Most Mysterious Places

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