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Sea Monsters of the Pacific: Cadborosaurus Willsi

December 14, 2013

Did you know that Victoria has its own sea monster legend? Although we’ve never seen it on any of our whale watching trips, there is a long-standing legend that a cadborosaurus willsi (named after Cadboro bay and saurus, reptile), also known as “Caddy”, inhabits Cadboro Bay and the surrounding waters. Here’s more information about this local legend.

A First Nations legend

First Nations have known about Caddy for a long time. Groups as far north as Alaska have stories of a sea creature that fit Caddy’s description. Some Inuit groups in Alaska even have a picture of Caddy on their canoes to keep it at bay.

In the past 200 years, there have been over 300 declared sightings of Caddy.

What Caddy looks like

Caddy is generally described as a sea serpent. Descriptions from witnesses put its length at between 5 and 15 meters, with a strange horse- or sheep-shaped head. Caddy reportedly has anterior flippers and can swim at a speed up to 40 knots.

Cryptozoologists and sea monster fanatics have said that Caddy’s descriptions have been remarkably consistent over the centuries. However, no carcass or live specimen has ever been brought to scientists.

What Caddy could be

The Naden Harbour carcass

The photo shows the Naden Carcass, thought to be Caddy but later identified as a baleen whale fetus. Photo taken in 1937.

Many carcasses have been believed to be Caddy specimens, including the famous Naden Harbour carcass (see photo and bottom note). However, most of these were identified as other animals, including:

• Elephant seals
• Basking sharks
• Sea lions
• Giant oarfish
• Pipefish

There is an interesting 1943 account by a police officer that describes how a group of six sea lions swimming together really looked like the undulations of a sea monster.

What do you think? Do you believe in the Caddy legend? Share your thoughts (and sightings!) with us on Facebook or Twitter!

 

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