July 6, 2012

Paranormal Fridays: What Lives in the Great Salt Lake?

Photos copyright Steven Symes
The Great Salt Lake, located in the northern part of the state of Utah, is famous for many reasons. It is the largest natural lake in the Western United States, measuring roughly 2,625square miles. Because the Great Salt Lake is not incredibly deep, slight changes in the water level can cause the shoreline to move several miles in some parts.The lake is more saline than the ocean, so little lives in it.

There are some who claim that more than just brine shrimp live in the lake. I wrote before about the Great Salt Lake Phantom, but that technically is not a living creature. There have been past reports of large creatures some call monsters living in the lake.

Around 1847 a man known simply as Brother Bainbridge reported seeing a strange creature in the Great Salt Lake. He was near Antelope Island at the time he spotted what he said appeared to be a dolphin's body.

The next report was from 1877. Workers from Barnes and Co. Salt Works said they saw a large creature with a crocodile-like body and a head that resembled a horse's wading through the lake. The creature made a loud noise and then charged at the workers on the shore, who ran up the nearby hills and hid in the underbrush until morning. The event reportedly took place at twilight. Some have questioned if the workers invented the tale to cover up that they had been drinking on the job and passed out until morning. Others theorize the workers actually saw a buffalo. Locals started calling the creature the North Shore Monster.

It seems much harder to believe that a large, mysterious creature is living in the Great Salt Lake versus other bodies of water given how shallow the lake is. A large creature would be spotted easily and often. Even if it did live on brine shrimp, such a creature wouldn't have much food for long.Still, these tales do illustrate man's gut inclination to be distrustful of large bodies of water and what secrets they might harbor.