You may or may not be aware that there are a large number of people around the world who believe in cryptids.

In case you're not savvy, cryptids are defined as creatures that people have claimed exist, but no one has ever proven in a meaningful way that they're real.

Laura Hardy / TSM
Laura Hardy / TSM

One of my favorites is the Hodag which you can find in Reinhart, Wisconsin.

So as you can imagine, America is full of many of these "mythical" creatures that lurk in places where they are hard to catch, and you can find them in nearly every state you visit.

Chris Rogers/GettyStock/ThinkStock

Some of the more famous American cryptids include Big Foot, The Jersey Devil, the Chupacabra or one that is a little closer to home, The Michigan Dogman.

But recently I learned about another Michigan cryptid that supposedly lives in Lake Superior, and is blamed for the lakes many deadly storms.

Mishipeshu: The Great Lynx of Lake Superior

1684 untitled engraving of Sea Monsters Attacking A Sailing Vessel
According to lore, Mishipeshu is an Ojibwe water creature, also known as the underwater panther (or in direct translation, ‘the Great Lynx’).

If you're brave and you'd like to find Mishipeshu, the Cryptid is said to live somewhere near Michipicoten and Manitoulin Island in Lake Superior.

The creature is thought to have originated with the Algonquin, Ottawa, Menominee, Shawnee, and Cree tribes. These days, many people outside those groups believe that it could be deep within the waters of one of Michigan's Great Lakes.

Mississippians underwater panther HRoe 2005

Those who believe see Mishipeshu as a symbol of Lake Superior's mighty power. They say that Mishipeshu is able to cause storms, waves, and whirlpools when angered. So if you are caught in one of Lake Superior's famously dangerous storms, you may have just been in Mishipeshu's path and in the wrong place at the wrong time.

(Photo by Ken Merryman. Used by permission)
(Photo by Ken Merryman. Used by permission)

Could Mishipeshu possibly be behind the notorious storms that have claimed the lives of many sailors?

Obviously, you don't want to get on this thing's bad side. They say there is only one way to keep this creature away... By offering tobacco to the lake for Mishipeshu as a gift.

Either way, this temperamental lake panther is not an enemy you'd like to make. And, maybe it's okay that we haven't met it in person quite yet. Mishipeshu seems like something that should be viewed from a distance if you want to stay in one piece.

There are also a few cryptids that are holiday-themed too...

Christmas Cryptids From Around The World

Living snowmen, kid-eating cats, witches, goblins, and more. Christmastime is actually full of a ton of monsters, not just Santa.

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