Hell Really Exists

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Freshwater Monster of Newfoundland, Canada.

Etymology: After the lake.

Variant names: Cressiteras anguilloida (quasi-scientific name), Haoot tuwedyee (possibly Beothuk/Algonquian, "swimming demon"), Woodum haoot ("pond devil").

Physical description: Serpentine. Length, 15 feet. Black. Rounded hump. No fins or flukes.

Behavior: Swims with a rolling motion.

Distribution: Crescent Lake, Newfoundland.

Significant sightings: Around June 7, 1960, Bruce Anthony and three other loggers watched an object that looked like an overturned boat swim and cross a nearby sandbar.

On September 5, 1991, Pierce Rideout saw an unusual wave and then a black, 15-foot animal swimming with a rolling motion about 150 yards offshore.

Possible explanation: An oversized American eel (Anguilla rostrata), which normally grows to less than 5 feet. Eels usually spawn in the ocean, but they have never been seen in Tommy's Arm Brook, Crescent Lake's only outlet to the sea. However, the lake's deeper water is saline, which might allow the eels to stay in the lake to spawn.

Sources: John Braddock, "Monsters of the Maritimes," Atlantic Advocate 58 (January 1968): 12-17; Cressie, the Monster of Crescent Lake, RobertsArm/attract/cressie.html.

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