Tuesday, 7 October 2008

Caddy The Sea Monster

Caddy, or Cadborosaurus willsi to give it it's full pseudo-scientific nickname, is probably the most famous sea monster of modern times. Move over Kraken, step aside Sirens, we have a new entrant in the contest for most seen sea monster in history.

Caddy supposedly inhabits the Pacific coast of North America, and the name is derived from Cadboro Bay in Victoria, British Columbia. Over the last 200 years this rather prolific creature has been spotted hundreds of times. Supposedly the creature was first reported many years before European settlement by the First Nation inhabitants of the Pacific coast and sightings have continued right up until the modern day.

When spotted in 1897 by O. Ferguson Caddy was described as being about 7.6m long and as having the traditional serpentine undulating form. Sizes have differed vastly over the years ranging from tiny babies who can survive in a bucket to giant leviathans of 27m (or more!).

Taking into account most of the reports paint a picture of a creature with a horse like head, a long neck leading to a long thin, undulating body with small front flippers and large back flippers.

In 1937 the decomposed carcass of what was thought to be a Caddy was found inside a sperm whale. Through one of those unlucky events that befall cryptozoology the carcass was disposed of and the tissue samples went missing on route to a lab. Quelle surprise.

Caddy? Taken in 1937

The thing with Caddy is that this could really be an unidentified creature. Nessie has been variously described in hundreds of reports over the years ranging from the traditional serpent through the pleisiosaur and up to allsorts of bizarre creatures reported around the Loch. Stories of Caddy, on the other hand, share a rather amazing amount of consistency. Other than the size most accounts agree on the general look of the creature. They have been sighted from land, and from the sea. They have been seen by scientists, seasoned seafarers and tourists. To my mind Caddy is one of those mysterious things that might just be real!

And there have been some rather interestingly different encounters with Caddy than have been had with most other cryptids, such as this one taken from this site:
Captain Hagelund also has the distinction of being one of only four persons to have actually apprehended a live Cadborosaurus. While taking his family on a yachting journey around the Gulf Islands of British Columbia, Captain Hagelund anchored for the night at the exotically-named Pirate's Cove off Decourcey Island. The calm of the evening was shattered by the noise of something making splashing sounds just off the starboard side of the yacht. When Capt. Hagelund strode over to take a look at what was causing the noise, he was sharply taken aback by the sight of a totally unknown creature gazing up at him as it swam near the yacht. Lowering a dinghy, the Hagelunds decided to pursue the creature and bring it aboard for closer scrutiny and did not feel in any particular danger as the creature was only about 16 inches in length. Using a small net the Hagelunds managed to snare the creature and promptly placed it in a large bucket of seawater. The small aquatic cryptid was like nothing any of the Hagelund clan had ever seen with its armoured plates, strange elongated snout, odd forward flippers, yellow downy fuzz and bilobate tail which may in fact have been rear flippers similar in shape to those of seals and sea lions. The creature was agitated for most of the evening and Hagelund ultimately had abandon plans to take the animal to a Fisheries Department Station at Nanaimo, B.C. to have it identified. Capt. Hagelund realized that there was the distinct possibility that Cadborosaurus might not survive the night in the confined spaces of a bucket and so reluctantly released it to the sea from whence it came. The animal sped off into the distance and may perhaps been sighted again when it had become a far larger fully-grown specimen.
Baby Caddy's have been captured on two other occasions always being released before they can be identified by scientists. Again... quelle surprise.

What could Caddy be? Hmm... it could be that people are mistaking pods of whales who when moving close together could create a similar movement to an undulating serpent in the sea. Or it could be an undiscovered creature, most likely a mammal... Until someone finally captures one of these elusive, if not shy, creatures we won't ever know. But if I was to lay my money on any cryptid actually existing I'd probably put a couple of quid on Caddy.

Check out this Canadian broadcast of a lady relating her experience of meeting Caddy in the 1930s. Or this video of more eyewitness testimony

Further Reading

Cadborosaurus: Survivor from the Deep - Paul H. Leblond


Gee said...

Caddy is fascinating. But what odds do you reckon you could get from William Hill of it being discovered? I bet a couple of quid would make you a very rich man indeed.

Jae said...

*heads off to William Hill...* :D Just need to hope they have a really sceptic person doing the odds on that one. Oh and hope Caddy exists too...

Naveed said...

Wow, I had no idea that baby Caddys had been captured before. Awesome post, and great blog.