Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Prehistoric Serpents

  1. Nov 25, 2007 #1
    Watching a program on the travel channel (not the most scientifically renown station on the planet, I know), they started describing this ancient lake serpent in Lake Okanagan, but if its existed there for so long, how did it exist prior to the lake's formation from glacial melt?! Sigh.

    Now they're going on about ca...bora...saurus? Or something. Anyway, they're claiming its supposed to be in and around the area of Vancouver Island and the Straight of Juan de Fuca, right where I live!!

    People I know buy into this stuff worse than Black Friday sales, is there any obvious evidence against this silliness aside from geologic contradiction in the first example?
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 25, 2007 #2


    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    I think you're just supposed to look at the grainy footage and conflicting anecdotal accounts and say "My God! Proof of dinosaurs!" :wink:
    Thinking kinda destroys their entire idea eh?

    I've heard of some studies on Loch Ness that concluded there is simply not enough living in the water to support a community of large creatures such as 'Nessie'. Don't know how well this applies to other such beasties.
  4. Nov 25, 2007 #3

    Ivan Seeking

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    There was some very good video of the alleged critter called "Champ", in Lake Champlain.

    It is important to not confuse interpretations of evidence, with raw evidence. Geologic arguments say nothing about the existence of an unknown or temporarily unidentified species. Intead these objections speak to the interpretations of the evidence.
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2007
  5. Nov 26, 2007 #4

    Ivan Seeking

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    As someone else on the page has mentioned, and as one might deduce by reading the posts in this forum, the video linked at the link above is not correct. In the original video, the thing can be seen coming up right alongside their boat.

    I tried to spot it at YouTube but didn't see it.

    However, I did spot this one: :rofl::rofl::rofl:
  6. Nov 30, 2007 #5
    unfortunately a lot of these "creatures" defy a lot of biological laws. Regarding the sea serpent Champ, it is hard to believe a creature that was extinct several thousand years before the lake was created would appear there. From what I have learned thus far, for something to be considered alive and be a prosperous species it would need to reproduce. Wouldn't that mean there would be more than one Nessie or Champ, thus by statistics alone making at least ONE of them likely to be spotted with scientific backing? It's fun to believe in, and I love to read the books and watch the shows! Nothing is more exciting than the thought of new, groundbreaking science!! :)
  7. Nov 30, 2007 #6

    Ivan Seeking

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    That is not a required assumption. That is just a popular opinion among believers. Also, who says that it [if it exists] actually lives in the lake? It is hard to make assumptions about what something might be when we don't really have any good evidence by which to describe it.

    Yes, yes, yes, and yes. But this really comes down to a question of how many sightings are misidentifications, biological anomalies, or hoaxes. The video in the link above [not the joke but the original one] was compelling in that the creature looked very strange, and people who know the area were allegedly perplexed, but whether people are actually seeing something unknown to science is impossible to say. Could 100% of these sightings be false alarms? It wouldn't surprise me. Is it possible that there are a few unknown creatures running around that could account for these claims? It wouldn't surprise me. Does it have to be a prehistoric beast in order to exist? I don't see why. I think that argument is a red herring. And I can at least imagine ways that a creature might be so rare as to create this controversy, but I have never seen anything suggesting that this is likely true.
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2007
  8. Nov 30, 2007 #7
  9. Dec 5, 2007 #8


    User Avatar

    For a sustaining population you need a minimum of ten creatures. The food chain requires that the mass of the predators be at most 10% of the mass of the prey. Supposing that Nessie feeds on fish it could not weight more than 300 kg (there is around 30 tons of fish in the lake).
    I don't know the numbers for Lake Okanagan, but the reasoning applies.
  10. Dec 5, 2007 #9
    Uh, not to be disrespectful of people's beliefs, or anything, but I'll believe in it when I get evidence. That could be a captured specimen, or even a skin scraping with DNA that can be analyzed and compared with other species.
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 6, 2007
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?

Similar Discussions: Prehistoric Serpents
  1. Serpents and evil (Replies: 12)