In the early 1990s, the collections of philatelists and numismatists were replenished with a number of postage stamps, envelopes, coins and banknotes with the views of amazing waterfowl, as if emerging from the mysterious depths of children's fairy tales. Waterfowl cryptids, i.e. At that time Canada, Great Britain, Maldives, Palau, New Zealand dedicated their postage stamps to animals, the existence of which has not yet been proven by science … It is difficult to say what explained the increased interest in the mysterious inhabitants of the reservoirs at that time. It seems that sensational observations of sea and lake monsters were not recorded at the end of the 20th century.
A few words about Nessie
The most famous of the European lake monsters is certainly Nessie, an inhabitant of the Scottish Loch Ness. The first mention of it is attributed to Roman legionnaires, who themselves, perhaps, did not see Nessie, but got acquainted with the image on the stone of a strange beast with a long neck and the body of a seal, made in time immemorial by tribes inhabiting the shores of the reservoir. And the first written evidence of Nessie dates back to the 6th century.
Images of the Scottish monster are found not only on postage stamps. Collectors of collectible coins are also familiar with them. So, the Cook Islands in 2009 dedicated one of the coins of the "Mythical Creatures" series to the Loch Ness monster.
Loch Ness monster. Maldives. 1992 year
Another portrait of this creepy-looking animal was adorned with 1000 francs of silver Burkina Faso. There are only 350 copies of this coin!
It is interesting that on banknotes Nessie is represented as a kind of sea serpent. While on collectible stamps and envelopes, she is depicted as a prehistoric lizard.
In the descriptions of witnesses, mentions often appear that Nessie had a barrel-shaped body, two pairs of fins, a long tail and neck, and a relatively small head. Neither give nor take a fossil lizard from the order of plesiosaurs, the last individuals of which became extinct 65 million years ago!
Is it any wonder that modern scientists do not want to hear anything about dinosaurs that have survived to this day, arguing that a sufficient number of males and females and an appropriate food supply are needed for the survival of the species. At the same time, the researchers remind that the population of creatures in the Loch Ness lakes had to remain stable for an incredibly long time (millions of years!).
Was it not imagined?
Not being able to close this topic once and for all, scientists offer their restless opponents different options for the final solution of the issue. For example, some scientists explain the sudden appearance of strange waves on the surface of the lake by strong underwater currents, the appearance of geological faults at the bottom of reservoirs, etc. Others claim that large marine animals can sometimes swim into the lake systems connected to the seas by underwater channels.
Similar arguments are put forward against the existence of sea serpents. Like, it could be whales or sharks. And even stingrays like the sea devil or the moonfish. Individual specimens of the latter are known to reach impressive sizes. So, in 1908, not far from Sydney, a fish was caught three in length and four meters high (let's call the distance from the back to the belly)! She weighed over two tons! The fin of such a giantess sticking out of the water is really easy to mistake for the dorsal crest or flippers of a giant sea monster.
Distant relatives of Nessie
There are more than 40 (!) Reservoirs in the world, for which the glory of the abode of unknown monsters is firmly entrenched. In China, these are Tianchi, or Heavenly Lake, located in the crater of the Paektu-san volcano, as well as Lake Kanas. In Japan, a large (up to 20 meters long) monster named Issie is swimming in Lake Ikeda. According to legend, the unfortunate mare turned into him after her beloved foal was taken away from her. In Africa, this is the famous "hippopotamus eater", or Chipekwe, who has chosen the deep backwaters of the Congo River, and his brother from Lake Victoria. In Australia, numerous legends tell of Bunyip, a terrible creature that, according to the Aborigines, terrorizes the population of the banks of the Swan River. There is also a dragon in the Argentine Andes. The plesiosaur-like creature Nahuelito lives in Lake Nahuel Huapi.
There are at least six reservoirs with monsters in Russia. And probably everyone has heard about the mysterious inhabitants of the Ladoga (Karelia) and Labynkyr (Yakutia) lakes.
We met lake monsters in the United States. But, perhaps, most of them are in Canada and Europe. In Europe, in addition to Loch Ness, it is also Lough Rea (Ireland), Lagarflyouth (Iceland), Loveborough in Leicestershire (England). And, of course, the Swedish Storsjön with his monster, in the hunt for which even one of the Swedish monarchs, Oscar II (1829-1907), took part.
As the legend tells, the trolls are to blame for the appearance of a terrible snake with a dog's head and several humps in the lake. Once they decided to drink tea on the shore of the reservoir. But, gape, did not notice how all the water in the kettle boiled away. Suddenly, something with a dog's muzzle and a snake body appeared from there into the light of day. And before the trolls came to their senses, the wonderful beast jumped into the lake, where it has lived ever since.
The first written mention of this monster emerges in 1635 in the notes of a certain priest Pedersen. And his only “money” image has been known since 1981. Then the Storsjon monster decorated one of the Swedish souvenir coins.
Memphra and Ogopogo
Canadians have repeatedly dedicated stamps and coins to national cryptids. Their stories are simply breathtaking. There you can find a sasquatch, a mythical kraken, and an amazing character of Indian legends with an equally amazing nickname. This is "Underwater Panther" or "Big Underwater Wild Cat".
The "plesiosaurus" of Lake Memphremigog in Quebec - Memphra also did not go unnoticed by the artists. As a fossil pangolin, he is featured on a colorful 2011 25 cents minted at the Royal Canadian Mint as part of a collection for children collectors. In the testimony of witnesses, and there are already more than two hundred of them, Memphre suddenly emerges next to unsuspecting fishermen, then suddenly starts up a wave that overturns the boats, or, in front of stupefied eyewitnesses, feasts on a waterfowl.
Finally, the famous Ogopogo lodging in the cold waters of Lake Okanagan (British Columbia). This strange beast has been mentioned in archives since 1872. And once it was simultaneously observed by more than 30 people. What does he look like? Imagine a lake with rocky shores covered with relic forest. And suddenly a horse's head on an unnaturally long neck protrudes before your gaze from the dark and mysterious depths. A wonderful beast looks at you with a bewitching gaze as if glowing from within the eyes and wiggles small horns. The serpentine body, shining with moisture, wriggles fancifully … In any case, this is how the artist who worked on a Canadian postage stamp in 1990 presented it.
The future of sea and lake "dragons" is as unpredictable as the moment of their sudden appearance on the surface of the waters. But, at least in philatelic and numismatic collections, they will continue to exist. Enchanting everyone who opens the coveted album with their fantastic images.
Source: "Secrets of the XX century"