Igopogo

The igopogo, also called Kampenfelt Kelly, is a super-otter type serpent reported to inhabit Lake Simcoe, a 722 km², 135 ft deep lake located between Lake Ontario and Lake Huron. Often called the ice fishing capital of Canada and popular for scuba diving, Lake Simcoe is the fourth largest lake entirely located in Ontario. It’s described as being a serpentine seal or otter-like creature, 12 to 15 ft long, with a dog-like face, charcoal grey skin, large eyes and a long neck as wide as a stovepipe. Some reports contradict the more usually reported version, describing it as having many dorsal fins and scales. The igopogo is notable for being a slow swimmer and unusually small for lake monsters of its type, as well as some unusual behavioral quirks, such as its habit to be rather oblivious to its onlookers, often being seen for long periods of time slowly undulating across the surface or seemingly basking in the sun. Indigenous legends of serpents in the area called “Oniont” go back presumably thousands of years, but it became well known after sightings started to increase in the early 1950’s.


In 1979, an anonymous woman claimed to have seen two massive humps on the surface of the lake while driving past Willow Beach with two of her friends. One was much larger, while the other, about 10 ft away, was much smaller. They watched as it submerged and started swimming towards the shore, causing the water to ripple around it. The creature then suddenly turned around and swam further into the lake. They guessed the animal was about 25 ft long. A week later, a cottager on Snake Island, the third largest in the lake, claimed to have felt some kind of large animal brush under his boat, and then saw it surface some of its body only a couple yards away. He described it as “the ugliest thing I’ve ever seen” and said it was about 20-30 ft long and had a head like a boxer dog's.


The only video evidence of the igopogo was In 1991, allegedly showing some kind of strange creature frolicking and even breaching out of the water in Kampenfelt bay. Some reports describe the igopogo as an enormous elongated otter, while others describe it as being more reptilian or fish-like, with many fins, flukes and scales, leading some to speculate there may be more then one cryptid in Lake Simcoe. Its rather ambivalent nature makes it surprising that there aren’t as many sightings, suggesting it either is not native to the lake, and only occasionally passes by, it’s not a mammal or reptile like most assume it is, or the igopogo simply doesn’t exist.

A photo allegedly of an igopogo, taken in 1976

A photo allegedly of an igopogo, taken in 1976

An illustration of igopogo (unknown artist)

An illustration of igopogo (unknown artist)

The shore of Lake Simcoe

The shore of Lake Simcoe

A highlighted view of the creature

A highlighted view of the creature