Capture the Minnesota Nessie and get rich!

Pepie comes out on days like this: Anything to get away from that clam, you know?
Pepie comes out on days like this: Anything to get away from that clam, you know?Courtesy _kristin_
Or die trying, kiddos.

No, seriously, don’t die trying. We need you, Buzzketeers. I need you!

But get a load of this: There’s a fifty thousand dollar reward out for undisputable evidence of “Pepie,” Lake Pepin’s very own aquatic monster. Think of all the stuff you could do with fifty thousand dollars! Like, you could give twenty five thousand to me, JGordon, and then spend the rest on penny candy! If penny candy existed anymore. Or, you could give twenty five thousand to me, and spend the rest on a twenty thousand dollar car and a five thousand dollar suit. Or, you could give twenty five thousand dollars to me, and then invest the rest in a low-risk mutual fund, and pay for your kids to go to college!

Those are about all the ideas I’ve got.

Anyway, find a spot on the cryptocouch, and prepare yourself for the legend of “Pepie.” Supposedly Lake Pepin locals have been reporting sightings of a large, mysterious aquatic creature for over a hundred years—ever since 1871. An early artist’s impression of the creature depicts it with a “hypnotic red eye, and a demon-like head,” with more recent sightings generally describing your classic series of humps and head sea serpent thing. Boaters claim to have been received the attention of the beast as well, telling stories of loud knocks on the hull, followed by “violent back and forth swings of the boat.”

According to Larry Nielson, Lake Pepin’s tourism bureau spokesman, the Dakota people who once lived on the shores of Lake Pepin refused to paddle across the lake in fragile birch bark canoes, preferring more solid dugouts as protection from the creature.

Lake Pepin, lying between Minnesota and Wisconsin, is both fed and drained by the Mississippi River, and just happens to be nearly identical in size to Scotland’s Loch Ness (~22 miles long by 2 miles wide), leading some to wonder if the creatures might be related, sort of like how I might be related to any other person who lives in a tiny room heaped with dirty laundry. Considering how Lake Pepin is less than a tenth of the depth of the loch (63 feet compared to 750 feet), it could be that Pepie is Nessie’s (relatively) hydrophobic cousin.

To claim your (our) fifty grand, you’ll need a biological sample, or a clear photograph of the creature with a Lake Pepin landmark in the frame for verification. It has been stressed, however, that Pepie must not be harmed by your evidence gathering, or else the deal’s off.

You can submit evidence, stories, or comments to the Find Pepie website at [email protected]. Or you can send them to me, here at Science Buzz—just think of me as your monster hunting agent.

A couple of side notes:

You’ll recall a certain Buzz story in which we learned of another reward for monster evidence, a reward which boosted both sightings and interest in the area. At least Lake Pepin is a little closer.

Also, Lake Pepin is actually said to have a two creatures, the second being…wait for it…a giant clam. Eh… Supposedly “Clara the Clam” is the mother of all Lake Pepin’s freshwater mussels. Not the most, um, exciting creature, but it could be that she wants revenge for all the clam children she lost to the mother of pearl industry. That’s the direction I’d take it, anyway; I think Clara was invented before people realized that marketing should be, you know, interesting.

Your Comments, Thoughts, Questions, Ideas

andyshadexx's picture
andyshadexx says:

Oh O.O wow well if sux things appear now and yet like to see this beast if it real.

posted on Thu, 05/08/2008 - 8:51am
koallainfestation37's picture
koallainfestation37 says:

man i dont think a giant lake monster could live in a lake so small
theirs not enough space for a thriving population to live. theirs just not enough food or room

posted on Thu, 05/08/2008 - 8:54am
JGordon's picture
JGordon says:

Yes! Critical thinking!'re forgetting about magic.

posted on Thu, 05/08/2008 - 9:23am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

actually lake pepin has the mississippi river running through it. Just lake pepin takes up Lake City, Frontenac, Winona, AND goes through Red Wing. It's actually quite big! Pepie is supposed to live in between a beach called Hok-sa-la and a point on Lake city. The space doesn't look real big, but big enough for pepie to fit!

posted on Tue, 07/28/2009 - 8:07am
twila_08's picture
twila_08 says:

Whatever that i need to find i need to find it. that sounds tight you can find something and get rich.

Twila Turnage

posted on Thu, 05/08/2008 - 9:02am
flinch619's picture
flinch619 says:

yea. theres a sea serpent in the pond by the community center too. i caught was delicious.


posted on Thu, 05/08/2008 - 9:06am
MrBig621188's picture
MrBig621188 says:

time to get the net ^_^

posted on Thu, 05/08/2008 - 9:08am
Andy Korman's picture
Andy Korman says:

man imma fisherman and imma go find this fish/monster and kill it and eat it after i turn the thing in. that way i get a lot of money and a meal of a life time!!!! hells to the hells yeah

posted on Thu, 05/08/2008 - 9:08am
JGordon's picture
JGordon says:

No money for you!
Remember? You can't hurt the monster if you want the reward. So you can eat it, or you can get the money, but not both.

posted on Thu, 05/08/2008 - 9:22am
Looney_Tooney's picture
Looney_Tooney says:

WORD!!! That is awesome yo... Maybe i could get my grandpa to go with me... He's a cool fisher man too and he's hella good...

U Kno Wat Im Sayin!!!

posted on Thu, 05/08/2008 - 9:14am
hmoob_muas's picture
hmoob_muas says:

im going to catch this monster....

posted on Thu, 05/15/2008 - 9:03am
Fatou from Woolwich's picture
Fatou from Woolwich says:

This monster is going to be saved by me, put in the museum, and I'll be rich!

posted on Mon, 06/30/2008 - 11:35am
Emma's picture
Emma says:

I live right by Lake Pepin! There are many stories that we make up to scare the little kids about Pepie! Every time my family and I go out on the lake we yell, "Look! It's Pepie!!! TAKE A PICTURE! QUICK!" but of corse, we never bring the camera. I'm going tubing today, let's hope Pepie doesn't eat me!

posted on Tue, 07/28/2009 - 8:04am
Gwen's picture
Gwen says:

I've lived near Lake Pepin my entire life. Pepie is most certainly real, but I have only seen him once. It was the freakiest day of my life and absolutely the last time I will go fishing. I don't care about the reward, I am NEVER going to try to get that close to him again.

posted on Sun, 11/07/2010 - 1:34pm

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