Thursday, June 19, 2014

The Powderhorn Lake Monster

After years of writing about lake monsters and other Fortean phenomena, I finally can report on one close to home. Minne the Lake Creature has been spotted in Powderhorn Lake, right next to my house in Minneapolis. I've stated on a number of occasions that I believe many of the famous lake monsters could be sturgeons, but that's clearly not the case here. For one thing, as you can see in the above photo Minne looks nothing like a fish, and furthermore sturgeons generally aren't made of fiberglass.

The 13-foot fiberglass sculpture was installed in Powderhorn this morning and will remain there until September. Powderhorn Lake was chosen as Minne’s home this summer after it beat out Lake Hiawatha by 10 votes, 347-337, in a Facebook poll.

Minneapolis artist Cameron Gainer created Minne in 2009, inspired by the infamous 1934 “Surgeon’s Photo” of the Loch Ness Monster. Since then Minne has been in each of the nine Minneapolis lakes it can fit into.

So thanks to good old-fashioned Powderhorn neighborhood spirit, Minne will be residing in Powderhorn Lake for the rest of the summer. What I find interesting about Minne from a Fortean perspective is that the sculpture is quite realistic even up close, and provides a good control for what lake monster photos should look like if a real plesiosaurus were surfaced in a lake. A picture of a real, solid, flesh-and-blood creature of this sort should look much like the picture above in terms of light, shadow, wave size, and composition, with the possible exception of sharpness. After all, Minne is made of fiberglass and therefore doesn't move like a living animal would, and some cameras don't capture movement well.

But the short of it is this: a photo taken under similar conditions that doesn't look this good is quite likely to be a hoax or at best some sort of mistaken identification. The "Surgeon's Photo" that inspired Minne's shape was faked, after all, and at one time that was the most famous Loch Ness photo out there. The moment you compare the texture of the ripples around Minne to the texture of the water in the Surgeon's Photo, it's pretty obvious that Minne is a much larger object.

Welcome to Powderhorn, Minne! Enjoy your stay.

Technorati Digg This Stumble Stumble

No comments: