RationalWiki's 2018 Fundraiser

There is no RationalWiki without you. We are a small non-profit with no staff — we are hundreds of volunteers who document pseudoscience and crankery around the world every day. We will never allow ads because we must remain independent. We cannot rely on big donors with corresponding big agendas. We are not the largest website around, but we believe we play an important role in defending truth and objectivity.

If everyone seeing this today donates $5, we will meet our goal for 2018.

Fighting pseudoscience isn't free.
We are 100% user-supported! Help and donate $5, $20 or whatever you can today with PayPal Logo.png!

Donations so far: $2951Goal: $5000

Sea serpent

From RationalWiki
(Redirected from Sea Serpent)
Jump to: navigation, search
Part of RationalWiki's
Cryptid Petting Zoo
Icon cryptozoology.svg
Hiding with Schrödinger's cat
Medieval woodcuts or it didn't happen.

A sea serpent is a supposed sea creature of great size, often the subject of sailors' yarns, but which also swims accidentally into the fringes of science.[1] Reported from all seas, and sometimes backed up with photos of poor quality and bodies that wash up only to conveniently wash out again (or turn out to be merely basking sharks or whale blubber), the sea serpent is a myth that refuses to go away, and yet, with an ever-increasingly-explored ocean, refuses to come to the surface and be counted. In a way it represents cryptozoology itself—it's outside science, yet claims scientific respectability, ever shifting in outline and focus, yet always enticing those dreamers whose approach to science is not "is it true?" but "what if?". With such valiant, grandiose defenders of its name to speak for it, the serpent, real or not (on balance, probably not) will never gain a place at the high table of science without some solid evidence. And a good thing too—who'd want to sit down to dinner with a freaking great sea creature?

Other bodies of water[edit]

Lake monsters are similar to sea serpents, reported from the lacustrine regions of the world. Nessie and Mokele-mbembe are well known, as are the oddly-named Ogopogo of British Columbia, and Champ, who resides in Vermont, is thus probably one o' them dirty liberals. There are many more, and they usually have whimsical names. Iceland has the lagarfljotsormur (or Lagarfljóts worm). Manipogo, anyone? Morag? Hapyxelor? What the hey is a hapyxelor?[2] Did somebody just pull letters out of a scrabble bag?

Reports of river monsters are even rarer, and a few orders of magnitude less likely. The White River Monster of Arkansas is the least obscure, and was emphatically not Bill Clinton going for a skinny dip.

Real aquatic snakes[edit]

Snakes of subfamily Hydrophiinae actually live in water[3], but are not by any means huge legendary sea monsters, although some have extremely toxic venom. As with many sea creatures, loss of habitat is a major concern.[4]

See also[edit]

Flippernotes[edit]