The Shushwap Indians who lived around Lake Okanagan in British Columbia, Canada, feared a hideous creature named Naitaka. It lived in the lake, and the Natives carried animals that could be thrown overboard as snacks whenever they traversed the 1,000-foot-deep waters.
Naitaka is still around, but it's been reinvented as the lovable Ogopogo -- a smiling sea serpent that graces t-shirts and at least one statue photo-op along Okanagan's 169-mile shore line.
Ogopogo has been filmed several times and has been seen by large groups of witnesses. Unlike Champ (its U.S. water monster cousin), Ogopogo is not thought to be a long-necked prehistoric plesiosaur. Rather, cryptozoologists feel that it's a many-humped snakelike serpent, roughly 30 feet long, with a head shaped like a (American) football.
The Natives believed that Naitaka/Ogopogo lived in a cave near Squally Point, whose entrance was reportedly recently destroyed to make way for a housing development. As anyone familiar with B-horror movie justice will tell you, that kind of progress-for-profit is bound to trigger monster revenge. Fans of carnage may want to pack their camcorders and head for Lake Okanagan soon.
Okanagan Lake in British Columbia, Canada
An appetite for warm-blooded meat.
What's Out There for Vacation Travelers?
Kelowna, the largest resort town on Lake Okanagan, is also the center for Ogopogo tourism.