10 Lake Monsters That Aren’t Just Nessie Rip-Offs

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9. Mishepishu

The Ojibwa people around the Great Lakes region named their lake monster the mishepishu (“great lynx“). The great lynx, a beast which might inhabit any lake, was said to be responsible for strong waves, rapids, and whirlpools in lakes and rivers in the region.

These spiritual pseudodragons are extra-large lynx with broad paws and scales on their backs. Sometimes, they come with horns in different places on their bodies. The tail may be made of pure copper, which was common in the land around Lake Superior.

One folktale talks about a woman who cut off the end of a mishepishu’s tail, which transmogrified instantly into a chunk of copper. Some indigenous populations figured that these great lynx must be guardians of the copper-rich lands around their waters, drowning people foolhardy enough to venture too far offshore or into rivers that are rarely traveled.

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