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Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Another Monster Catfish

Here is an old gag illustration of a water monster from Michigan that has a simple (although perhaps not immediately obvious) solution The barbels on the face and the shape of the tailfin mark it as an embellished catfish, probably a bullhead, and the vertical extensions above and below the head would be fins located on the body further back and not barbels (There are fins above and below on the body only a little way back from the head. The several humps in between were either added by mistaken views reported by witnesses or possibly because several big fish were in a line (Just west of Indianapolis (Where I live) there is a location of a historically-reported multiple-humped water monster in Eagle Creek: this was said to have turned out to be several large catfish swimming together) There were at least half a dozen reported Water Monsters in Michigan in the 1880s and 1890s (apart from the great lakes) that were frequently described as "Giant snakes 20-30 feet long with long wiry hairs growing out of the head" and so now it seems that these were most often exaggerated reports of catfish. Several of the historical reports of Water Monsters in Northern Indiana were catfishes too, and I understand from local Bigfooter Steve Abney that the reports of ugly giant catfishes are still being made in Indiana.

Below, a photo from a google photo search for "Michigan catfish"

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