Does Florida Have A Lake Monster?



The central part of Florida has hundreds of lakes, many connected in a vast channel way that makes them popular for sports fisherman. In Polk county there is a legend of a sea monster that lives in Lake Clinch south of Lake Wales.
M.F. Hetherington wrote in his 1928 "A History of Polk County." "The Indians many years ago insisted there was an immense serpent in this lake. In 1907 residents of Frostproof declared they had seen the monster, and that it must be 30 feet long - this, too, before post-prohibition liquor was known."
In 1936 a fisherman was found dead in the lake after being mutilated by an unknown animal (alligator?).
There are manatees in the sunshine state, but they live in salt water or the marshes where the fresh and salt water meet. The saltwater crocodiles also share that environment. Descriptions of the lake monster is that it has a long neck, a dog-like head, a humped back and flippers. That sounds like a marine dinosaur.
"In the United States alone, researchers list 222 lakes and rivers as alleged cryptid habitats," Michael Newton wrote in "Florida's Unexpected Wildlife."
This is a very large and beautiful lake about a 90 minute drive from my house. I think I will get over and investigate.

Comments

  1. Tim,
    I have seen a lake monster. It was in 2006. Two friends and myself were in my 1979 Mohawk 17 foot canoe. We paddled out a short distance into Lake Tarpon from the dock at John Chestnut Park and turned south entering Brooker Creek. After going quite a way past the bridge at Eastlake, we turned around and headed back the way we came. We passed a large alligator which I estimated to be around 11 or 12 feet in length. Minutes later as we paddled our overloaded canoe low in the water, the man at the bow says, “George, look!” and points to a spot just off the Starboard bow only 15 feet away. Looking past him I saw a black coil, like a serpent perhaps 12 inches in diameter, undulating at a quick flowing pace out and back into the black, tannin stained water. The shiny black skin had the look of an eel rather than a snake. 5 to 7 feet of the creature rose and fell in the 3 second sighting before the whole mass submerged. I would say at least 30 feet of eel swam by. The man in the back of the canoe could not see past us and missed out on seeing it. There is a legend of a Lake Tarpon monster, Tarpie. My assessment: A remarkably old eel, probably a female no longer able to reproduce with a hormonal abnormal growth disorder.
    George McGee, Enigmatic Anomalies

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  2. I live on lake tarpon and have been wondering about "Tarpie" for the last few months since hearing about it...

    Bear with me for a second, this might sound crazy but I think I might have this figured out -

    Ever since the 1980's, the Everglades have started to develop an infestation of Burmese Pythons, native to parts of Asia, and imported into the US for trade as exotic pets. They have since been banned for being used as pets due to their hardy, NEARLY UNDETECTABLE, and extremely invasive nature when released into the wild.

    These snakes can grow up to 19 feet...(alleged Tarpie sightings depict Tarpie to be about 15-20 feet in length, long, slender and very reptile/snake-like) and once these "pets" get to this length they are extremely difficult to keep. And frankly illegal. They require a large cage/enclosure and plenty of food.

    I'm not sure why nobody else has considered the idea that if it's possible to develop a Burmese Python infestation in the Everglades...that maybe ONE PERSON who lived on Lake Tarpon (plenty of wealthy 2/3 story mansions (AKA - the typical exotic pet owner)) let their Python loose in Lake Tarpon, or perhaps broke himself out of his cage?

    Not like a pet owner would report an illegal pet missing....

    Ok so you think this is all pretty crazy...some huge snakelike monster MIGHT actually exist in the lake, and you know what else is pretty crazy about Lake Tarpon?

    The AMERICAN CROCODILE THAT MIGRATED 350 MILES FROM THE EVERGLADES AND WAS FOUND IN LAKE TARPON, WHICH WAS THOUGHT TO TRAVEL THROUGH FLORIDA'S "EXTENSIVE CANAL SYSTEM"

    http://www.tampabay.com/news/environment/wildlife/long-rumored-crocodile-captured-in-lake-tarpon/2131063

    So there's the possibility that if it's not a rogue exotic local pet, it might be an exotic pet that migrated from the Everglades...still think that's farfetched?

    My only other idea is a monstrous catfish with a remarkable growth defect. I know for a fact there is a substantial catfish population in Lake Tarpon, I can't stop catching them! I have a fishtank with a nice marbel channel cat, one from the lake. I don't think the description's of alleged Tarpie sightings sound like a catfish though, even a particularly large one at that....

    And furthermore I am not quite sure this "Wake" or whatever we want to call this water disturbance is conclusive either but this is the first result you get when you google Tarpie so I figured this might be a good place to post my theory.

    Lake Tarpon is known to have a HUGE alligator population, I think "Tarpie" is feeding on baby, and even larger gators. The water in Lake Tarpon is also very murky, and it has been said by researchers that the Burmese Pythons in The Everglades would eventually genetically adapt and spread north. Lake Tarpon would make the perfect home for a migrating python

    I think there's even a chance Lake Tarpon might even have more than one Burmese Python somewhere in the 120 ft depths of this "Gem of Pinellas" and it's surrounding nature estuary-esque region.

    I theorize Tarpie might live in, or around Brooker Creek in particular. One particularly detailed sighting of Tarpie takes place in Brooker Creek and depicts him as a 15-20 foot eel like creature rather than a snake like creature, I think this conception might be due to the fact Tarpie was drenched in water, with poor visibility and a bright shiny day giving the snake a particularly smooth appearance

    if anybody has seen "Tarpie" shoot me an email, perhaps we can promote some future sightings and even some video proof of "Tarpie". Like I said, I think he/she particularly stays in the Brooker Creek area of the Lake where I often see plenty of alligators, turtles and the surrounding park would make for a great place to find land-based prey. Idle speed only please in Brooker Creek as we do not want to disturb the area too much if this is indeed where we could find him

    -ctravis595@gmail.com

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  3. Here is video proof of an extremely large python sighting in Florida

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c1G76AyW1ag

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