If you are vacationing near Lake Erie this summer, be on the lookout for mysterious sea creatures. It is believed that one of the most famous sea monsters in North America, “Bessie”, calls the northern coast of Ohio, home. The first recorded sighting occurred in 1793 near Sandusky. The large creature was described as “snake-like”, between 30 and 40 feet long, being at least a foot in diameter, and having grayish color. Similar sightings have been recorded into the 21st century. There have been over ten Bessie sightings which have been reported in cities such as Toledo, Vermilion, Huron, South Bass Island, and the most recent being in 2004 in North Madison. From visual sightings, Bessie is described as a gentle creature. However, if you happen to catch it, the Huron Lagoons Marina is offering a $100,000 reward if brought back to shore alive and unharmed.
Today, Bessie is portrayed in various popular culture references. Cleveland’s minor league hockey team is named the “Lake Erie Monsters” and the Ohio based Great Lakes Brewing Company makes a seasonal beer called “The Lake Erie Monster” depicting Bessie on the bottle.