Monsters in The Great Salt Lake

Is it possible for a lake that covers approximately 1,700 square miles and has a maximum depth of 33 feet to harbor a monster or two?

The Great Salt Lake with its haunting desert landscape and brine shrimp has encouraged a barrage of myths, legends, and mysteries for hundreds of years. Stepping back in time to July 13, 1877, the Salt Lake Herald newspaper printed a story about a monster that had been seen on the north shores of the Great Salt Lake.

A group of men, who worked for Barnes and Company Salt Works, were working around dusk when they heard strange noises coming from the lake moments before a large creature with a body like a crocodile and the head of a horse emerged from the water. It let out a deep bellowing noise and chased the men up a hill, where they hid until morning. When they returned the next day, they found large overturned rocks, the ground was torn up, and tracks from the creature were imprinted on the shore.

One of the men, J.H. McNeil, claimed that the beast was about 75 feet long and was like an alligator, but much larger.

There are other stories of monster sightings too. In the 1840’s, a man known only as Brother Bainbridge reported seeing a monster with a body like a dolphin swimming in the lake near Antelope Island, the largest island in the lake.

Early Native Americans tell stories of the “Water Babies.” The long-ago stories describe the Water Babies as being the size of a human and look like mermaids, with their long, black hair, and fish tails. They make sounds that mimic a crying baby, but the innocent sound is used to lure victims to the water, where the victim is captured and dragged down into the depths of the lake never to be seen again.

The Great Salt Lake is an incredible body of water with a unique history. Did these monsters really exist or were their stories created to entertain people? Who knows for sure, but one thing we do know is that the Great Salt Lake will always be a place full of fun mysteries that will never be solved.

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