MonsterQuest: Giant Eel
Giant Eel "Cressie"
Eels like to hide in deep crevices and dark, cold waters, making Lake Crescent an ideal habitat. One of the largest known eels, the conger eel, is known for its fighting ability, and is fierce enough to take down seabirds and aquatic mammals.
While sightings of giant eel-like creatures have been reported in freshwater lakes across Canada, "Cressie" is a native of Crescent Lake--hence its nickname--on the northern coast of Newfoundland. Over the past two decades, at least a dozen sightings of "Cressie" have been reported near Robert's Arm, a small fishing town on the lake.
Over the years, witnesses have reported seeing a serpentine creature measuring five to 15 feet in length, although some reports claimed a length of more than 20 feet long, at least three times the size of a normal eel. They have described the body of the giant eel as featureless, with a snake-like head.
Though strictly an ocean dweller, the conger eel bears more resemblance to giant eels such as "Cressie" than other known freshwater eels. Ferocious carnivores with strong jaws and razor-sharp teeth, congers often lurk in deep waters; they can weigh as much as 200 pounds and stretch more than 12 feet in length.
Sightings of giant eels in the region date back to pre-colonial Native American legends, which referred to the mysterious lake dwellers as Woodum Haoot (Pond Devil) or Haoot Tuwedyee (Swimming Demon). One more recent account, from the 1980s, concerned a group of scuba divers searching for the corpse of a pilot whose plane went down in Crescent Lake. Venturing into deeper waters, the divers were reportedly attacked by a school of giant eels, each of which they described as being as thick as a man's thigh. Though the divers returned to the surface without serious injury, they were shaken by the encounter.
MOST RECENT SIGHTING
As recently as August 2003, Vivian Short of Robert's Arm, reported seeing a snake-like animal with a head resembling that of a fish in the waters of Lake Crescent. Short, previously a non-believer in the existence of the mysterious giant eel, described the creature she saw as big enough to eat four or five people.
MonsterQuest: Giant Eel
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