Okanagan Lake – Peachland, British Columbia - Atlas Obscura

Okanagan Lake

Peachland, British Columbia

The large fjord lake is thought to be the home of "Ogopogo," a giant sea serpent.  


If Nessie ever makes a reappearance, she has a friend across the ocean in Lake Okanagan’s Ogopogo, a Canadian counterpart to the famous Scottish lake monster. The monster with a warm friendly name is thought to lurk below the placid waters of the lake in British Columbia, and apparently pops up every once in a while, giving plenty of fodder for cryptozoologists. 

Envisioned as a long, dark sea serpent with many humps, Ogopogo has been elusive in the last few years but over time there have been several accounts of visitors catching a glimpse of movement in the lake, with humps appearing briefly above the water. Records of Ogopogo go back as far as 1872, and it was written about in a local newspaper in 1926 when people in nearly 30 cars reported seeing a creature in the lake. This was a few years before the Loch Ness monster gained widespread media attention.

The supposed creature was first caught on film in 1968 when a tourist spotted “something large and lifelike” in the water and shot a 60-second video on his camera. In 1991, a widespread investigation was conducted, using underwater technology devices but nothing was found—no Ogopogo and no bones or carcasses either.

But sightings continue to be reported and in 2011, another tourist recorded what he saw on video—two short log-like objects floating close to each other. Logs or Ogopogo, nobody knows for sure.

This monster also has a mythical connection. Canadian Aboriginals in the area believed that there was a terrible monster named Naitaka living at the bottom of the lake and feared crossing it. On their journeys across the waterbody, they carried chickens and other small animals and dropped them in as a sacrifice, to ensure their safe passage. These legends may not be referring to the actual lake monster but to a water spirit they believed in.

Know Before You Go

The lake spans 250 miles and many of the sightings have been close to Rattlesnake Island and Okanagan Mission beach. 

Community Contributors
Added by

March 10, 2017

Make an Edit Add Photos
From Around the Web