Cryptozoa megafauna or “Cryptids” are creatures or plants whose existence have been suggested but are not recognized by scientific consensus. Commonly known cryptids include the Himalaya’s Yeti, Latin America’s Chupacabra, and Scotland’s Loch Ness Monster or “Nessie”. However, an Oregonian does not need to travel outside the country to catch a glimpse of our reclusive friends. Oregon has its own Nessie in Lincoln City!
Devils Lake in Lincoln City, located on the central coast of Oregon, is believed to be home of a great lake monster. The legend goes that Devils Lake, once called Indian Bay, was a popular site for fishing and recreation for the Siletz Indians. However, popularity soon dwindled as evil spirits began to inhabit the lake. Members of the tribe still continued to meet on the shores of the lake during the full moon to demonstrate feats of daring and strength to win the heart of the woman of their choice.
Eventually, like any great legend, tragedy was awaiting these foolhardy, brave warriors. A group of warriors left the shore and went out on the lake in their canoes during the full moon. “As the moonlight shone down upon the serene lake, legend says, the waters began to churn and bubble. Giant tentacles emerged from the chaotic waters and wrapped around the startled braves and their canoes pulling them down into the murky depths.” From this point on, the Siletz tribe changed the name of the lake to “Skookum Lake” referring to the tentacled creature, which was later translated to Devils Lake.
Is the Devils Lake monster solely mythological? Maybe. But scientists also believed the coelacanth went extinct 65 million years ago until it was discovered in 1938, and new species are discovered every year like the Mr. Burns beaked toad from the cloud forest of western Colombia in 2010.
Regardless of the Devils Lake monsters’s existence, the legend lives on… and is continually being updated.