Monster Monday: Cadborosaurus

Monster Monday: Cadborosaurus

I grew up on the ocean, and spent a lot of time on the beach as a child, and strange remains would often wash ashore. I’d drag home these half-rotted corpses of aquatic beasts, and it was not uncommon for our property to be festooned with spines, fins, skulls, fleshy bits of things tossed up in winter storms… oh, my poor patient parents!  Thinking back, our yard probably smelled pretty bad.

Most of what I found was so decomposed that you were never quite sure what it had been in life. But in death? They were marvellous beasts of the imagination! And that’s where my interest in Cadborosaurus began. When I found out there was something strange living in the waters in front of my house, suddenly every dogfish, skate and crab became a possible sea monster.

Cadborosaurus (aka Caddy) has been spotted over 200 times in the last century, was reportedly filmed in 2009 by a fisherman named Kelly Nash, and was twice even captured and released (!), but the monster has never achieved the same fame as its Scottish cousin, nor even its Okanagan sibling. I’m not sure why — there were even stinky rotten remains that washed ashore that were identified as Caddy, although they’ve since gone missing. Maybe the name ‘Caddy’ lacks a certain gravitas? Or perhaps it’s because Caddy has been spotted over a much larger territory, reaching from Alaska to San Francisco? Unlike Nessie or Ogopogo, who are confined to lakes, Caddy seems to range up and down the Pacific Coast, and there was even some speculation that the creature migrates to warmer climates in the winter time.

Looking at the migration routes of cryptids is probably not a great way to establish one’s career as a biologist, but it would be interesting to take the dates and times of Caddy sightings over the decades and see if there’s any pattern to it. There seems to have been a spike in sighting in the 1930s, and I’m wondering if that was a particularly good year for Caddies… depending on how you look at it, maybe there were lots of salmon for the sea monster to eat, or if you’re a skeptic, maybe there were more tipsy fisherman on the water. Who am I to say? However, as much as I’d like to correlate the data, I can’t find a single spot where all the sightings have been complied. There’s a tale here, a tale there, and certain key encounters that pop up again and again, but there’s no single website for all your Caddy-related questions.

Maybe that’s the root of Caddy’s obscurity. Nessie has Visit Scotland to promote it, and Ogopogo is the unofficial mascot of the City of Kelowna, but Caddy is left on its own when it comes to marketing. And, let’s face it, when all you have is some grainy footage and a bit of rotten meat from an inconclusive source, it’s hard to make that sound appealing.


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