The Water God, Ogopog

The water body covers more surface of the earth than land and is deeper than the heights of mountains. It’s only fair to have a multitude of myths about water beasts. Several water beasts are found in the mythical records. One of the most famous water creatures is the Ogopogo, nicknamed Oggy, reputed to inhabit the Okanagan lake of British Columbia, Canada. The myth was extended by the First Nations folklore according to most scholars.

The natives of Syilx believed that it was a water spirit that shape-shifted to a serpent and called the monster Naitaka which means “water god” or “water demon”. The name was given to the beast because the natives believed that the creature had immense power but an ill intent. The Naitaka was notoriously famous for creating devastating storms with its long tail to drown the victims. The natives feared and respected the spirit and also believed that the spirit of the lake demanded a sacrifice before the crossing of the lake. As a tradition, before crossing over they used to sacrifice animals in their stead. A tradition describes the incidence of the chief Timbusket who was sucked in the vortex of the lake along with his family for refuting the existence of the beast by not offering the sacrifice.

Various descriptions have been given by the witnesses and some are found in the natives’ records. They have some common features. Ogopogo is said to be green in tone with a snake-like body which is approximately 25 meters long.  Some say it has a reptilian head, while others say it’s horse-like.  The pictures of Ogopogo taken by the people have never been clear enough to conclude anything.

In 1872 a non-native settler Susan gave the first account of the water beast. There have been numerous sightings after that. In 2005 in a National Geographic TV show “Is it real?” a show that separates the fake from the real, the explorers tried to estimate the size of the nefarious beast. They concluded that the heftiness of the beast was blown out of proportion by the people and it was more likely to be a real animal than a mythological creature.

Even though uncanny disturbances in the Okanagan Lake have always been a speculative talk, there is not enough proof to connect the outlandish waves with the existence of Oggy. Even then, many people believe in the creature and revere it.

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