From Abracadabra to Zombies
In a nutshell: Lake monsters are scary creatures that some people think live in some lakes. Scientists think what people are seeing are not really monsters.
When they think of monsters, most people think of scary creatures in stories that are ugly and mean. Some creatures are called monsters, but they aren't very scary. The Loch Ness "monster" (Nessie), the Lake Champlain "monster" (Champ), the Lake Okanagan "monster" (Ogopogo), and other lake "monsters" aren't ugly or mean or scary. They're called monsters because they're freaks of nature in the sense that they shouldn't exist. They should be extinct. Nessie, for example, is thought by many to be a plesiosaur, a marine reptile that lived about 160 million years ago and has been extinct for 65 million years.
Most scientists consider these lake monsters to be cases of mistaken identity, an overworked imagination, or hoaxes. People mistake all kinds of things for lake monsters: logs, waves, seals, otters, water birds, large fish such as giant sturgeon or catfish, and many other things. A recent sighting of Champ turned out to be a swimming deer. Though most scientists don't believe lake monsters exist, stories about such creatures have led to major tourist sites at Loch Ness, Lake Champlain, and other places.
Many people have spent lots of money searching for Nessie. One search took place in 2003. The searchers used satellites and sonar. "We went from shoreline to shoreline, top to bottom on this one, we have covered everything in this loch and we saw no signs of any large living animal in the loch," said Ian Florence, one of the scientists who did the search for the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC). People who believe Nessie exists are not going to change their minds about Nessie. All the BBC proved was that they couldn't find her. The BBC also proved that a lot of people want to see programs about the search for lake monsters. The BBC show Searching For The Loch Ness Monster was very popular.